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Sierra Leone News: 1.8 million youths registered to vote

Voter registration data revealed to Restless Development Sierra Leone (RDSL) by the National Electoral Commission in December 2017 revealed that 1.8 million young people have registered to vote on Wednesday.
Restless Development released the State of the Youth’s report, 2018, last Friday showing how young people are feeling ahead of the election; what will motivate them to turn out on Wednesday and what they expect of the winning party.
The research was done in urban and rural areas, in Bo, Bombali and Freetown and was inclusive of persons with disability, teenage mothers and Ebola survivors. Over 8,000 respondents participated in the research through the UNICEF mobile poll as well as interviews conducted by the Organisation.
According to the report, 89% of male and 85% of female respondents said they intended to vote. The report reveals further that young people are expecting a peaceful transfer of power, they are voting for a radical improvement in the quality of education. In relation to the economy, they want to see Sierra Leone stands on her own feet; young people also want to see the land that they love producing food that will be processed here.
In terms of health, young people according to the report, asked for what they have been promised – free service for mothers and babies, free support to ebola victims and decent affordable care for everyone else.
The Country Representative of RDSL, Francis Kaikumba, said young people all over the country talked about ‘right’ and ‘citizen’ and they value and price democracy.
Kaikumba said, “If they turn out on Wednesday, there is no doubt that they will prove to be decisive in determining who gets the key to State House.” He added that what the research shows was that young people were preparing to turn out in huge numbers. It also shows that young people have a sense of pride in the high level of registration and they were taking their responsibilities seriously.
By Edna Browne-Dauphine
Tuesday March 06, 2018.

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