Monitoring voter registration: APC objects ECSL’s decision to deal with Peter Conteh’s men

Hon. Abdul Kargbo

By Alhaji Haruna Sani

The Interim Transitional Governance Committee (ITGC) of the All Peoples Congress (APC) has written a letter to the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL’s), objecting its decision to deal solely with Alfred Peter Conteh’s “illegally” appointed Interim District Chairmen regarding the monitoring of the ongoing voter registration process.

The ITGC was established pursuant to the judgment of Justice Adrian Fisher dated 28th April 2022. In the said judgment, the Committee was charged with the responsibility to man the overall affairs of the Party until the first National Delegates Conference In discharging its duties.

In a letter issued on the 8th of September 2022, Secretary and Head of Secretariat of the Committee, Hon. Abdul Kargbo informed ECSL that the Committee is guided explicitly by Paragraph 90(10)(6) of the Orders, which specifically spells out how every decision is taken.

He noted that the paragraph states thus “In order to achieve unity within the party, decisions of the ITGC shall be by simple majority”

Hon. Abdul Kargbo wrote that the provision was further affirmed by the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) in an Advisory Statement to the Interim Transitional Governance Committee dated 5th August 2022, which he said clearly indicated that the quorum for each meeting shall be not less than eleven of its 21 members.

The MP further explained that the PPRC advice was premised on the fact that His Lordship was quite unequivocal when he said all Decisions of the ITGC shall be by a simple majority.

“We wish to state that Alfred Peter Conteh appointed the referred Interim District Chairmen without our approval, as directed by the Hon Justice Adrian Fisher’s Judgment. It violates both Paragraph (90)(1O)(6) of the Court Orders of Justice Adrian Fisher J. of 28th April 2022 and Article 55b) of the Party’s March 2022 Constitution, as well as in blatant disregard for the PPRC Advisory.

For ease of reference, Hon. Abdul Kargbo cited article 55(b) which provides that “The Party offices at the Constituency, District, and Regional (including Diasporas) levels should be elected at their respective conventions,”

Hon. Abdul Kargbo intimated that voter registration is a significant activity in the electoral cycle; therefore, the effective participation of a major political party like the APC is vital to enhance the credibility of the process.

He said they would therefore like the ECSL to note that the ITGC has no Interim District Chairman in its administrative hierarchy, maintaining that the decision of the ECSL to deal with Alfred Peter Conteh and his unilaterally appointed interim District Chairmen has not only led to the refusal of trained APC Party entry into most Registration Centres across the country to observe the process but also brought unknown persons serving as APC Party Agents in some Registration Centres nationwide. “Therefore, this calls into question the credibility of the ongoing registration process,”

Hon. Abdul Kargbo requested that the ECSL should contact not just Alfred Peter Conteh but also Hon Abdul Kargbo, Secretary and Head of Secretariat of the ITGC, regarding election-related activities.

“We further call on the ECSL to disregard all such persons parading as Interim District Chairmen forthwith and to quickly revisit the accreditation of APC Party agents to correct this anomaly. We count on your understanding and cooperation”.