March 26, 2018 By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has said it has “temporarily cease all logistical preparations for the run-off” slated for Tuesday following a controversial interim injunction slammed by a High Court Judge last Saturday.
The commission, which has been subjected to “unwarranted intimidation and harassment of its staff by the police” in the run up to the crucial run-off in which the ruling party trails the main opposition, had in an earlier statement on Saturday promised to continue practical and logistical preparations for the conduct of the presidential run-off election as it had not been served the court order.
But NEC subsequently released another statement to confirm it had received “official notice of an interim injunction, against the conduct of the run-off presidential election to be held on 27 March.”
The conduct of Tuesday’s run-off election was thrown into huge doubt on Saturday, March 24, after Judge Abdul Rahman Mansaray granted an interim injunction restraining the electoral body from conducting the election, pending the hearing and determination of a matter filed by Ibrahim Sorie Koroma, a known member of the ruling All Peoples Congress.
Whether the election will go ahead this Tuesday or not is now subject to the outcome of today’s hearing before Judge Mansaray and a separate but related application before the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Commissioner and National Returning Officer, Mohamed Nfa Alie Conteh, has called on Sierra Leoneans to exercise patience and for the police and security sector to protect their staff and sensitive election material.
“In this time of uncertainty, we look forward to the continued support of the Sierra Leone Police and the security sector to secure NEC’s premises, staff and sensitive election materials,” Conteh said in the release.