The European Union (EU) has supported the government of Sierra Leone with the sum of 800,000 EURO which is equivalent to Eight Billion Leones (Le8,000,000,000) in order to strengthen electoral reforms in the country.
That the funds seek to enhance domestic electoral observer organizations’ and citizens’ participation in the process of democratic governance reforms prior to the 2022 and 2023 election period.
That it is a new two-year partnership programme between European Union (EU) and the National Election Watch (NEW) which was launched by the Vice-President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, the EU Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Tom Vens and the Chairperson of the NEW, Marcella Samba Sesay.
That the action will contribute to nation-wide domestic observation of all elections related activities including bye-elections and national civil registration and voter registration operations.
That it will lead to active monitoring and implementation of recommendations issued by the 2018 electoral observer missions in order to ensure that upcoming local and national elections are credible and transparent and adhere to the highest international standards.
That the launch follows a recent call made by President Julius Maada Bio to civil society organizations and development partners to support government’s efforts to strengthen democratization and good governance in Sierra Leone
VP Juldeh Jalloh maintained that in line with the vision of the President Bio, building a viable framework to facilitate CSO and government engagement is vital to institutionalizing democratic processes and good governance, adding that sustained engagement with CSO constitutes one of the many paths government intends to promote accountability and inclusiveness.
He stated that they believe civil society should be involved in setting the agenda, planning, implementing, monitoring, reviewing and giving feedback as an extra pair of eyes keeps everyone safer.
Ambassador Tom Vens praised the Government of Sierra Leone’s commitment to strengthen good governance, rule of law, accountability and the partnership with civil society.
He reaffirmed EU’s commitment to strengthening democracy and good governance in Sierra Leone which he said requires a vibrant civil society, who should actively promote inclusiveness and help build credible and accountable institutions.
According to Marcella Samba Sesay, at a time when citizens are disengaging from governance, they felt it essential to rekindle efforts towards expanding the scope of citizens’ participation and knowledge on multi-party democracy, elections and other political processes.
She added that the action will also support the design and implementation of civic and electoral education programs throughout the country.
That NEW will engage in Covid-19 monitoring and awareness raising in order to support the effort of government in the fight against the virus.
NEW thanked European Union (EU) for their unreserved support.