January 18, 2018 By Regina Pratt
Presidential and parliamentary candidates of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), on Wednesday (17 January), failed to show up at National Electoral Commission’s (NEC’s) headquarters in Freetown, where they were supposed to complete their nomination process.
Albert Massaquoi, NEC’s Director of Media and External Relations, informed the press that Wednesday was the day allotted to the PMDC to complete their nomination process for presidential and parliamentary candidates, but noted that the commission received a letter signed by the national Secretary General, Dr. Habib Sesay, late on Tuesday (January 16, 2018) that, NEC should reschedule their nomination to dates between 22nd to the 26th January, 2018.
Extracts from the letter states that, “I regret to write that the above date is inappropriate because the party has a prior engagement. In that regards, I should be very grateful if PMDC is given the opportunity to nominate presidential and parliamentary candidates on the 26th instant or any other date between 22nd and 26th January, 2018.”
He disclosed that presidential, parliamentary and paramount chiefs’ nominations were held at NEC’s headquarters on Tower Hill and at district level.
He said political parties are arranged to avoid any clash of schedule, according to an agreement with the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), in which they voted that 10 days must be allotted for nomination.
He disclosed that they have 17 registered political parties which are placed according to lists submitted to the commission.
He said they have in total 132 Parliamentary and 511 candidates for councilors.
“The Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates will have their documents collected by the reception officer and the scrutiny officer to ensure that the documents are in proper form. They would then be taken to the Returning Officer who is the NEC Chairperson, Mohamed N’fa Alie Conteh.He will sign the declaration form to show that the candidate has conform to the laws of Sierra Leone and thereby issued a certificate,” he said.
He also said Presidential candidate will have to go through the process of data entry and photographing for their ballot papers.
On the issue of the dual citizenship, he said NEC does not go into the files of candidates with dual citizens, noting that it is the duty of the Supreme Court to decide their fate.
However,PMDC’s Chairman, Bamidele Thompson, said reason for the change of date was strategic to the party.
Meanwhile, some political parties including the National Grand Coalition have also changed nomination dates.