H. E. Mr. Francis Abakah, Ghana High Commissioner and Mr. Mohammed Kenewui Konneh, NEC Chairman, Sierra Leone
The newly sworn-in Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Mr. Mohammed Kenewui Konneh, has paid a courtesy call on Ghana’s High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr. Francis Abakah at the Chancery. The purpose of the visit was to introduce himself as part of the Commission’s efforts at building relations with stakeholders including the Diplomatic Community in Sierra Leone.
The NEC Chairman indicated preparedness of his Commission to implement a number of recommendations made by the five (5) Electoral Observation Missions who were in Sierra Leone to observe the 2018 general elections. As part of the recommendations, an Electoral Trust Fund (ETF) has been set up and NEC is counting on the involvement and support of the International Community.
The Commission has initiated strategic plans to decentralize the electoral process and Regional Offices are being set up in Bo and Kenema in addition to the one at Makeni, and also aims at having district offices across the country.
Ghana has in the past assisted in the manpower development of NEC and played a significant role in the peaceful outcome of the 2018 general elections.
The Ghana High Commissioner congratulated Mr. Konneh on his appointment and extolled NEC for their performance during the 2018 general elections. He underscored the fact that peace and stability everywhere partly devolves on the Electoral Commission and the conduct of credible elections and cited the current unrest in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan as well as Mali in the recent past, due to alleged electoral fraud. He urged Mr. Konneh to work hard in line with the constitution of the land to gain the confidence of the public. It was necessary in this regard to interrogate the prejudices and concerns of the populace and thereby gain their trust and confidence.
The High Commission will work on a link up with the sister NEC institution in Ghana for purposes of collaboration in the training of personnel and the exchange of information and best practices. The formation of a caucus of NEC chairpersons within the sub-region was also proposed.
Ghana meanwhile goes to the polls on 7th December, 2020 and is preceded by elections in Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Niger.