Freetown, 26 March, 2023 / 8:20 pm (ACI Africa).
The Executive Director of Caritas Freetown in Sierra Leone has called on authorities in the West African nation to ensure that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are adequately empowered to participate in the country’s elections slated for June 24.
In a message shared with ACI Africa on Sunday, March 19, Fr. Peter Konteh notes that PWDs, just “as everyone else”, have a right to vote, and must therefore be facilitated to participate in the electoral process.
“As our country Sierra Leone prepares for the upcoming elections, it is important to recognize that people with disabilities have the same rights as anyone else to participate in the electoral system. Disability does not define a person's ability to make informed decisions or to express their political views,” Fr. Konteh says.
He adds, “People with disabilities must be given equal access and opportunities to participate in the electoral process. All citizens, regardless of their physical abilities, should be able to exercise their right to vote and have their voices heard.”
He calls on election officials in Sierra Leone to ensure that people living with disabilities are able to participate fully in the electoral process. This, he said, can be done by enhancing accessibility of polling stations.