District Electoral Officer, Bonthe District, Sierra Leone
Focus: Reducing Divisive Effects of Competition, Elections
Topics: Voter Registration, Training, Boundary Delimitation/Districting
Keywords: Sierra Leone, election violence, training, boundary delimitation
Interviewer(s): Nealin Parker
Country of Reform: Sierra Leone
Location: National Election Commission, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Date: Tue Jul 29 2008
Idrissa Kamara, a district electoral officer in Sierra Leone, begins by identifying his responsibilities at the National Electoral Commission. He explains that the biggest challenges of the 2007 presidential election were to earn public acceptance of the electoral process and its results. He stresses the importance of having an independent electoral commission that is not indebted to the government, and he identifies the complications that ensue when funding comes from the government and the international community. Kamara promotes development of human capacity of administrators and the public, which he notes is cheaper than importing international advisers. He also supports the inclusion of stakeholders so Sierra Leonean people can take ownership of their elections. Kamara details important parts of the process of holding Sierra Leonean elections, including delimiting constituencies and allocating seats, hiring and training electoral staff, avoiding violence and voter fraud, registering voters, and processing complaints. He then ventures into the topic of family voting, laments that people vote for candidates from their home region who speak the same language as they do, and discusses how to sensitize voters and shift the focus towards issues.
Full InterviewDownload MP3 (65MB)
Idrissa Kamara Interview
At the time of this interview, Idrissa Kamara worked for the National Electoral Commission in Sierra Leone as the district electoral officer in Bonthe, where he oversaw voter registration, voter education, recruitment and training of staff, and liaising with stakeholders.