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SLPP says provisional Census Results ‘substantially flawed, inaccurate and unreliable’

April 5, 2016 By Mohamed Massaquoi 

The main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has in a press statement issued over the weekend stated that since President Ernest Bai Koroma came to power in 2007 the country has taken a sharp turn in reverse, citing the just concluded National Population and Housing Census as one such example.

The party noted that as a major opposition, they were not quiet about the conduct of the census 2015, but that the All Peoples Congress (APC) government,   led by President Koroma, did not listen as it was bent on implementing the exercise anyhow, knowing full well that the process was ‘fraudulent and discriminatory against the West and south easterners’.

The provincial census report put the country’s population at 7,075, 641.

The release  further stated that the provincial census report which has been published by Statistics Sierra Leone and endorsed by the government clearly substantiate initially concerns raised by the only opposition party with a significant minority in Parliament that the process was going to be saddled with several abnormalities.

“We wish to particularly remind the public of the fact that Sierra Leone is still a broken country and has been so intermittently since the outbreak of the decade-old civil war in 1991 during the leadership of the Government of the All People’s Congress (APC) led by Major-General Joseph Saidu Momoh. That broken condition of the country prevailed until 2002 when the Government of SLPP led by President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah made feverish efforts, with the generous assistance of friendly countries and the international community, to restore the country to durable peace and security and fix the severely damaged and ravaged country by inaugurating the process of rehabilitating, rebuilding and creating most of the national and transparent institutions that we know today,” the statement further states.

The SLPP contends that the cartographic mapping was not handled independently, that the recruitment of census personnel was deliberately skewed in favour of government nominees, among a litany of accusations, adding that the provisional census results were “substantially flawed, inaccurate and unreliable.”

The release states that “…the SLPP is aware of the constitutional requirement for NEC to undertake a review of the boundaries of the constituencies and wards as stipulated by law. However, there is no law that denies NEC the competence to conduct those public elections in the absence of such a review nor is there any law that prevent it from conducting any such elections on the basis of the existing boundaries of constituencies and wards.”

It concludes thus, “The SLPP therefore wishes to reiterate the position it had clearly expressed that in the absence of a credible and acceptable census in Sierra Leone, the NEC should use the existing boundaries of constituencies and wards for the conduct of the elections slated for 2018.”

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