March 22, 2018 Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Head of Media and External Relations, National Electoral Commission (NEC), Albert Massaquoi, yesterday told journalists that ballot papers for the run-off election are expected to arrive today, March 21, at the Lungi International Airport.
Massaquoi, who was speaking yesterday at a one day Internews Round Table meeting at Hill Valley Hotel, said the two political parties in the run-off will have the opportunity to go to the airport to get details before the materials would be transported to NEC district offices across the country, adding that all the serial numbers in the packs of ballot papers and elections materials would be recorded at the airport.
He said police officers would not handle electoral materials, although the latter would provide security as the case may be, adding that the misconception that the security would be in charge of elections materials was not true, as he put “They do not even know what to do. They are there to provide security which NEC as a commission appreciates.’
“Like for the issue of ballot boxes, after elections, the RRFs and the MTF that are the most sensible materials would be taken as quickly as possible to our Tally Centres. We have over 22,000 ballot boxes all over the country,” he said, adding that their staff go round to collect ballot boxes a day after the poll.
He noted that certain sections of the society have been harassing their staff out of ignorance.
The NEC media boss said ballot boxes have nothing to do with the electoral process after counting ends, even if they were packed anywhere.
“We conducted very credible elections as far as we are concerned, we are proud as a commission,” he said.
He urged the media to serve as a bulwark in the electoral process and report correctly on electoral issues, noting that some section of the media has been unfortunately reporting news contrary to what journalism expects a media institution to publish.