The West Africa Democracy Solidarity (WADEMOS) Network will, from May 15–19, 2023, embark on a solidarity mission to Sierra Leone ahead of the national elections set for June 24, 2023.
The election observation team comprises representatives and member organizations from Women in Politics Forum (Nigeria), Center for Democratic Governance (Liberia), CDD-West Africa (Nigeria), Yiaga Africa (Nigeria), West Africa Election Organization Network (WAEON) (Regional), and the WADEMOS Secretariat in Accra, Ghana.
Despite the increasing acceptance of regular democratic elections in Africa, which is positive for the continent, the quality of these elections remains a recurring concern for many. Elections continue to face challenges including mistrust between political parties, citizens and Election Management Bodies, inaccurate voter register, election-related violence and in recent times the failure of technology.
The purpose of the pre-election solidarity mission is to provide an opportunity for civil society in West Africa to work collectively and across borders with stakeholders at the national and regional levels to enhance the credibility and integrity of elections in the sub-region. WADEMOS supports elections in West Africa through the production of evidence from election assessment missions, capacity building on democracy and elections, and support for post-election review for electoral reforms. The Network will share its findings on the preparations for the election with all stakeholders.
While in Sierra Leone, the team will hold discussions with the National Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone, the media, civil society organizations, development partners, the National Security Agency, and the Sierra Leone Human Rights Commission, among others.
The delegation will climax its activities with a press briefing and roundtable discussion to reflect on the challenges and prospects for the election and opportunities for democratic consolidation in West Africa.
This mission follows a similar activity by the Network during the general elections in Nigeria.
The mission is being coordinated by the WADEMOS Network members in Sierra Leone, including the National Election Watch, (NEW), Campaign for Good Governance, and Institute for Governance Reform.