March 19, 2018 By Alusine Sesay
Ahead of the March 27 presidential run-off election, the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) has demanded, among others, the review of staff of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) deployed in critical areas of the process, including ward coordinators, inputters, reviewers and tally centre managers to enhance the credibility of the system, according to the party’s National Secreatry General Alhaji Osman Yansaneh.
While concerns have been raised by almost all of the sixteen political parties that contested the March 7 elections, Alhaji Osman Yanseneh had earlier promised that the ruling party would put their concerns into writing and submit to NEC for redress.
In a press release issued on Saturday, 17th March 2018 and signed by the Party’s Secretary General, the APC further demanded that NEC give political party agents “Tamper Evidence Envelop containing signed election results at each polling stations across the country” while agents accredited by political parties should monitor the transportation and transfer of sensitive polling materials.
The release also stated that the party prides itself to be law-abiding, noting that in a number of official correspondences they had brought to the attention of NEC “electoral malpractices and irregularities before and during the tallying of the polls.”
“It was submitted by the party that there are evidences to establish the allegations. Inspite of the anomalies evident and the many concerns raised by the party against their staff and the process itself, the commission neither acknowledged nor took any response to the concerns so raised but went ahead and announced the final results of the March 7th elections,” the release noted.
The APC hierarchy has been no stranger to bashing the commission’s head, Mohamed N’fah Alie Conteh, whose competency they have called to question at any given opportunity even before the March 7 elections.
In this latest attack on the commission and its head, they further aver that, “It is therefore abundantly clear that the commission woefully failed to execute its constitutional remit in a manner befitting a democratic Sierra Leone.”
“Mindful of the fact that the March 7th 2018 elections had a number of irregularities that put the integrity of the electoral process into question, the APC seeks corrective measures to enhance the integrity of the electoral process, secure the votes of Sierra Leoneans, maintain peace, and ensure that the outcome of the election reflects the preferred will of the people of Sierra Leone,” the release emphasised.
The ruling party, which is trailing the main opposition SLPP by over fourteen thousand votes going into the run-off, noted in their press release that “evidences abound to prove that NEC made several clerical errors, which were not logical in the fielding of the Result Reconciliation Forms ‘RFFs, widespread of instances of over voting, issuance of unsigned ballot papers as well duplication and replacement of RFFs by NEC officials,” which they claim amount to alleged electoral violations, malpractices, omissions and irregularities.
The party also demanded that a forensic audit of the March 7 elections processes and procedures be conducted as ‘a matter of urgency before the run-off elections’ and that result from all regions be manually transferred to the NEC National Tally Centre in a transparent and all-inclusive manner.