According to the officials, the purpose of the visit was to brief the newly minted presidential candidate on the mandate of their respective offices including national security issues, campaign and elections and the supervision of the conduct of political parties throughout the electioneering process with a view to maintain regular dialogue and cooperation.
All three officials assured the NGC standard-bearer that their role in their different institutions is to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections. For his part, Justice Hamilton of the PPRC, spoke about the role of his office as a neutral and independent office stressing that they are not under the control of any person or authority.
Mr. Ismael Tarawalie of ONS stated that their role in addressing security issues of the state and its people, both natural and man-made. This, he said, has always been done in concerted efforts with government. “The conduct and supervision of all public elections is what we do and have always done,” said ---This he said, they have always tried to do by serving all stakeholders with an impartial mindset in promoting and sustaining democracy.
Speaking on behalf of his party, presidential candidate, Kandeh Yumkella, emphasized the importance of ensuring Sierra Leone’s 2018 election to be conducted in a free and fair manner and noted how crucial the elections will be to maintain the democratic credentials that the country has been known for. He also reminded NEC to ensure the software, machines and printing of ballots meet established standards.
The ONS is inviting all flag-bearers and five representatives to a workshop later this month to discuss processes and expectation from all political parties as elections fever heats up.