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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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The Media

The constitution of Sierra Leone guarantees freedom of speech and this is reflected in a general climate of press freedom in the country. Journalists, however, are poorly trained and adherence to professional standards is lacking. News media is unashamedly politically biased and opinionated, with few independent voices.

English

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