Uganda's Otunnu Heads Commonwealth Team For Sierra Leone Vote

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"Mr Otunnu, a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, will arrive in the capital, Freetown on 11 November," according to a press release issued by the Commonwealth Secretariat.

[Global: Sierra Leone]
 
The leader of Uganda's opposition party former foreign affairs minister Olara Otunnu will lead a Commonwealth Observer Group to monitor Sierra Leone's November 17 presidential and parliamentary elections.
 
Otunnu who is president of Uganda People's Congress (UPC) heads a nine-person team that also includes nationals of: Australia; Botswana; Jamaica; Kenya; Rwanda; St. Vincent; United Kingdom; and, Zambia. The team will be supported by five Commonwealth Secretariat staff.
 
"Mr Otunnu, a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, will arrive in the capital, Freetown on 11 November,"  according to a press release issued by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
 
The team was constituted by Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma at the invitation of the Government of Sierra Leone.  
 
"The Commonwealth Observer Group’s mandate is to observe and consider all aspects of the election process and assess compliance with the standards for democratic elections to which Sierra Leone has committed.  Where appropriate, the Group may also make recommendations for the future strengthening of the country's electoral framework," says the press release.  
 
"The Observer Group is impartial and independent and will conduct itself according to the standards of the International Declaration of Principles for Elections Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory. It will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of Sierra Leone, the National Election Commission of Sierra Leone, political parties and eventually to all Commonwealth governments."
 
This is Sierra Leone’s third election since the end of its conflict in 2002. The Commonwealth observed the 2002 and 2007 votes as well.



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