Members of the Commonwealth Observer Group are dispersed across Sierra Leone to monitor the country’s elections once polling places open.
The group’s chair, former vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is in Freetown to see the first ballots being cast.
Professor Osinbajo said “It is election day in Sierra Leone. At the crack of dawn, I visited multiple polling stations and I am now currently situated at the epicenter in Freetown, keenly watching voters exercise their rights.
Other members of my team are spread across the country to witness and oversee the conduct of this democratic process.”
He had led the Commonwealth Observer Group on Friday to the Bintumani Conference Centre where they met Commissioners of the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion and the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone.
They also visited their situation rooms and discussed their observations about the pre-electoral environment, concerns and preparations.
Also in attendance of the Commonwealth Observer Group is the former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.
Sierra Leoneans are voting in a general election following a tense campaign marred by violence.
Most polling stations opened late, but voting, which was supposed to end at 5.00 p.m. GMT, got off to a late start at Wilberforce Barracks, a voting center in the capital Freetown.
Around 3.4 million people are likely to vote for one of the 13 presidential contenders, including incumbent Julius Maada Bio.
In the West African country’s fifth election since the civil war ended in 2002, voters are choosing a president, MPs, and councilors.