More Links in News & Events

Sierra Leone 2012 General Elections

CONTACTS: In Atlanta: Deanna Congileo, +1 404 420 5108; 
In Freetown: Gregory Houël, +232 (0) 78 882 100

Carter Center Reports Transparent and Orderly Process, Urges Sierra Leoneans to Await Results

Read the full pre-election statement (PDF)

Sierra Leone's upcoming presidential, parliamentary, and local council elections represent a critical test for the country's emerging democratic institutions 10 years after the end of the civil war. Carter Center observers report that the campaign period has been generally peaceful, allowing political parties to assemble freely and to convey their message to potential voters. The Center also notes the National Electoral Commission's (NEC) competent administration of the electoral process to date, including its management of the nomination period for the general elections.

The Carter Center is nevertheless concerned by a number of developments that may undermine confidence in the elections, including poor communication between NEC, District Election Offices and political parties regarding the issue of unclaimed voter identity cards, lackluster voter education effort at the ward level, and troubling cases of intimidation of women candidates during the parties' primary and nomination periods.  Likewise, the Center is concerned by a series of events that led to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) not fielding a presidential candidate. These incidents are detailed in the report below. While NEC and other stakeholders need to address these shortcomings in a timely manner, The Carter Center considers that Sierra Leone remains on track to conduct credible general elections on Nov. 17.

As election day approaches, The Carter Center calls on political parties and candidates to adhere to the 2006 Code of Conduct for Political Parties and the Declaration on the 2012 Elections, and to reiterate their commitment to nonviolent participation in the electoral process. Furthermore, it calls on the Government of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Police to manage the security of all stakeholders in a transparent and impartial manner.

The Carter Center launched its election observation mission in Sierra Leone in mid-September and has deployed eight long-term observers from six countries in the Northern, Eastern, and Southern Regions and the Western Area. They will be joined by a larger delegation of short-term observers led by former Zambia President Rupiah Banda and Carter Center Vice President for Peace Programs John Stremlau. The Center is in Sierra Leone at the invitation of the NEC and will provide an impartial assessment of the electoral process made available to Sierra Leoneans and the international community in periodic public statements. The Carter Center assesses the electoral process based on Sierra Leone's legal framework and its obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international treaties.[1] The Center's observation mission is conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation. Read the full pre-election statement (PDF) >


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. Visit to learn more about The Carter Center.



[1] Sierra Leone ratified the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on Sept. 21,  1983, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption on Nov. 30, 2004.  The country also acceded to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on Aug.23, 1996. 

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top