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May 19, 2013
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Sierra Leone News
For many years, particularly during Sierra Leone's10-year civil war that ended in 2002, women have been fiercely engaged in the struggle to achieve peace, reconciliation and good governance.
In 2007, when there was a violent standoff over the election results, it was women who took the lead in helping prevent the country from slipping back into conflict.
Sierra Leoneans are voting in the country’s third elections since a decade-long civil conflict ended in 2002, with massive turnout recorded at most polling stations.
There are 2.7 million registered voters casting ballots at over 9,400 polling centers for a president, parliamentarians, local council and mayors.
As in most parts of Africa, young people in Sierra Leone make up the majority of the population and thus represent a formidable force in this year’s elections.
Aware of this critical voting bloc, political parties have made youths one of the top priorities in their manifestoes and have been mobilizing the young to vote for their candidates.
Upon coming to power five years ago, the government of Ernest Bai Koroma promised improvement in the communication sector, especially internet connectivity.
Hopes were raised when on 2September 2011 the government launched the Sub-marine Fiber Optic Cable to ease connectivity in the country.
An observer mission from the Commonwealth of Nations has arrived in Sierra Leone to observe polls scheduled for 17 November in response to an invitation from the National Electoral Commission.
On Saturday, over 2.3 million Sierra Leoneans will be voting for a president, parliamentarians, local councils and mayors in the country’s third democratic election since it ended a decade of civil conflict in 2002.
The West African Women’s Elections Observation (WAWEO) delegation has urged Sierra Leone’s media to be honest, impartial and independent in the coverage of the electoral process leading to voting on 17 November.
The 10-member team comprises representatives of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and the Women in Peace and Security Network – Africa (WIPSEN-AFRICA).
With about a week to Sierra Leone’s elections, civic and voter education got a boost with the launch by two civil society groups of ‘help lines’ to aid voters with instructions on how to vote on 17 November.
The 2007 presidential and general election witnessed a sizable number of void votes though it was just for two categories of votes, compared to this year when there will be 10 presidential candidates and hundreds of parliamentary, mayoral and local council candidates.
A suspect in the murder of journalist Ibrahim Foday, a reporter of privately-owned Freetown-based Exclusive newspaper, has been arrested by the Sierra Leone police.
Tunde Williams was picked up by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police on.3 November at Kamakwei, a town in the north of the country.
Having voted in two previous elections using the Tactile Ballot Guide, blind people in Sierra Leone will not exercise their franchise independently come 17 November as the National Electoral Commission (NEC) has annulled the practice.
The TBG was first used in Africa on a pilot basis for the May 2002 presidential and parliamentary polls in Sierra Leone and the blind used it again in 2007, though limited to the capital Freetown.
With about ten days to presidential, parliamentary and local council elections in Sierra Leone, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) says over 40,000 voter cards have not been collected by individuals.
Over 2.6 million voters are registered as the country goes to the polls 17 November using the Biometric Voter Registration for the first time.