By Alhaji Haruna Sani
Hon.Abdul Kargbo, Secretary and Head of Secretariat at the Interim Transitional Government Committee of the All People’s Congress (APC) party has told this medium that the ITGC accepts the ruling of the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) in good faith and they are ready to go by the commission’s directives.
He further discloses to this medium that the ITGC will be meeting today(January 11) to deliberate on the wayward, and, accordingly do the needful as time is not in favour of the party as they drew closer to the 2023 multitier elections.
The PPRC on January 10th, 2023, delivered a ruling after some aggrieved APC party members wrote a total of 39 petitions on the conduct of the lower level elections.
PPRC urged the APC to re-conduct 61 out of 446 of its Ward Executive Elections. The party had conducted its Ward Executive Elections throughout the Country, on Thursday the 29th December 2022 and Tuesday the 3rd January 2023. The ward elections were conducted in partial compliance with the Judgment and Ruling of Justice Adrian Fisher, dated the 28th April 2022 and 23rd November 2022 respectively.
According to the PPRC, almost all the Petitions filed were replete with common grounds that include discriminatory and skewed registration exercise, participation and active involvement of impending aspirants for party positions, late commencement of polling throughout the country, non-registration and exclusion of persons with valid bank slips and ITGC membership receipts as the single most contentious issue on polling day.
Non-publication of voter register, inadequate assistance to illiterate voters, unfair allotment of ballot numbers to candidates, and unannounced change of venues were also additional complaints the PPRC received.
However, PPRC noted that there was evidence that, some of the Petitioners were themselves perpetrators of violence and obstructive conduct while others failed to substantiate their complaints and by extension failed to prove their Petitions before the Commission or failed to appear at the hearings which the PPRC therefore accordingly dismissed for want of prosecution.
In a bid to offer solutions to the problems, PPRC directed the TIIEMC to conduct a re-run of the ward elections in all the affected wards in which Petitions are upheld, including the seventeen in Kono.
PPRC also directed the five man registration subcommittee to conduct registration exercise on the 13th day of January 2023, in each of the Constituencies, in which there are Wards to be rerun.
“All holders of valid Banks slips and ITGC Receipts, that are issued before the 28th December 2022 and who present themselves before the designated Registrars, are to be registered. NOTE, there should be no proxy registration of holders of those documents, who do not present themselves before the Registrars,” the statement reads.
The ITGC is also directed to issue out Party cards to holders of Bank payment slips and ITGC Receipts, already inputted into their database and to update the voter Register in all the wards that are to be rerun and make it available to the TIIEMC, in time for the rerun elections.
The rerun elections to be conducted on the 15th January 2022, in all wards in which petitions were withheld and for illiterate voters to be at liberty to choose a person of their choice for assistance.
“The TIIEMC are at liberty to conduct the Constituency elections in all of the remaining Constituencies that are unaffected by this Ruling, on any date of their choice”.