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United States Ambassador Michael S. Owen and British High Commissioner Ian Hughes have in a joint press conference on Tuesday 16th, sermonized people of this nation to demonstrate political maturity and democratic values by exercising peaceful, fair, and credible elections in the forthcoming days. (Photo: l-r Michael S Owen, US Ambassador and Ian Hughes, British High Commissioner)
The press briefing which was held at the US Embassy centered its principal messages on the need for Sierra Leone to build-up from its past democratic record of embracing the spirit of nationalism rather than dividedness.
Talking on this issue Commissioner Hughes said ‘democracy’ is the best and most efficient system of governance but stressed that it has its own challenges which must not override the culture of oneness, noting that democracy is not all about electioneering process but also what we do after elections.
He explained in order to achieve good governance and democracy there is the need to put to practice free, fair, and credible elections; saying this election is tagged as ‘unique’ for two reasons owing to the fact that for the first time the nation is conducting an election under national security, and also heralding the third election since returning from the eleven year civil interregnum. He maintained that if it becomes a success story the praise will go to the nation and as well serve as a model of example to other nations.
The Commissioner maintained that they are supporting the entire electioneering exercise during and after the process. He furthered that they are providing financial support of over £20million to Civil Society and Election Observers who also will be working in partnership with them.
Making his comment on the issue, Ambassador Michael Owen said the nation is honor bound by the spirit of the Constitution to exercise political rights to choose who is to be the leader. He cited that the nomination process was very peaceful and colorful which he says are good riddance to ‘the-day’.
Michael Owen said this nation was once regarded as a failed state a few years back, which he says was the principal reason why the UN under its international institutions financed the nation to overhaul its challenges.
He maintained that the US has contributed in organizing election educational discussions through Radio Talk-Show Programmes, sent out two journalists in the US to study on election reporting, and trained 155 women on the election campaign which cost to the tune of $4,339,818.
The Ambassador says all of these highlights have been in partnership with other key stakeholders such as UNDP and Campaign for Good Governance.
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