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Sierra Leone National and Local Council Elections, 17 November 2012

image of Sierra Leone National and Local Council Elections, 17 November 2012
The Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group for the Sierra Leone National and Local Council Elections, held 17 November 2012. The Group was led by Olara Otunnu, former Foreign Prime Minister of Uganda, and comprised nine eminent persons in total.



The Group found that overall the elections were conducted in a free, peaceful and transparent manner and met international standards and benchmarks for the conduct of multiparty elections. They recommended a number of measures to strengthen further the electoral process in Sierra Leone, such as development and implementation of a comprehensive and widereaching voter education programme well in advance of polling day, and settling on a reasonable candidate nomination fee before the next electoral cycle.

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Political Background

Sierra Leone is a democratic state run by the arms of Government that include the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The Executive is headed by the President who is elected by popular vote (and must achieve 55% of the poll) for a five year term (eligible for a second term). The President is both the Chief of State and head of government. The legislative arm is made up of a unicameral parliament with a total of 124 members. Out of these, 112 are ordinary members who are directly elected by universal suffrage by secret ballot every five years. The remaining 12 are seats are reserved for the Paramount Chiefs. The Judiciary is made up of the Supreme Court, Appeals Court and the High Court.

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