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APC, 7 others call for census before elections

- but SLPP wants 2006 boundaries maintained

May 4, 2015

Seven opposition parties, alongside the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC), have agreed for the National Population Census to be conducted first before any elections are held in the country.

The seven opposition parties include the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP), Peace and Liberation Party (PLP), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Citizens Democratic Party (CDP), United National People’s Party (UNPP) and United Democratic Movement (UDM).

The call was made during a joint meeting convened last Friday by the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and National Electoral Commission (NEC) in collaboration with the All Political Parties Association (APPA) at the PPRC headquarters in Freetown.

However, the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) was without a position on the issue, while the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) suggested that NEC uses the 2006 boundary delimitation figures, as well as maintaining the current 112 constituencies.

The meeting was a follow up to the one held on NEC’s position paper on the implications of deferring the national population census.

It could be recalled that political parties in the country, through their parent body APPA, had made a representation to President Koroma to defer the National Population and Housing Census that was initially slated for April until the deadly Ebola outbreak in the country is declared over.

The decision, according to the parties, was necessitated by the fact that normal socio-economic activities in the country have come to a standstill as a result of the Ebola outbreak.

In his statement, PPRC Chairman, Justice M.E. Tolla Thompson, encouraged political leaders to always refer to the commission whenever they are confronted with critical issues that border on national interest.

Also speaking, Chairman of NEC, N’fa Allie Conteh, informed political leaders present that his commission needs comprehensive census figures to be able to undertake any boundary delimitation in the country.