Politics

John Mahama leads high-level meeting in Sierra Leone ahead of crucial polls

Former President, John Dramani Mahama, will be leading a Commonwealth Observer Mission to monitor the March 7, 2018, general elections in Sierra Leone.

Ahead of the elections, Mr. Mahama is heading to Sierra Leone, where he will be leading a number of meetings aimed at ensuring a peaceful electoral process, according to a statement from the former President’s office.

He will also hold talks with Sierra Leone President, Ernest Koroma, on Wednesday, February 28.

“President Mahama, at the invitation of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) of Sierra Leone, will lead the discussions in a closed-door high-level breakfast meeting between the Presidential Candidates and their Running Mates, Commissioners of the PPRC, Electoral Officials, Police Chief, Paramount Chiefs and Eminent Persons,” the statement said.

Whilst in the country, Mr. Mahama will also preside over the signing of a Peace Pledge by the Presidential Candidates and hold separate meetings with the Candidates, the Electoral Commission, Police Chief and Sierra Leone’s Donor Partners.

The Sierra Leonian election has 16 political parties contesting the presidency.

Past observer missions

Mr. Mahama’s work in Sierra Leone comes after his lead role during the ECOWAS Observer Mission’s monitoring of the largely peaceful Liberia election, in which football legend, George Weah, replaced Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Head of State.

But the former President faced some ridicule and criticism after he led a Commonwealth Observer mission to monitor the elections in Kenya, which were later overturned by the Supreme Court following alleged malpractices.

Mr. Mahama, alongside other observer groups, declared the August 8, 2017 elections which the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta won, as free and fair, despite the irregularities as alleged by Kenya’s opposition leader, Raila Odinga.

Odinga has since gone on to declare himself the people’s president at a controversial ceremony in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

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