By Yusufu S. Bangura & Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Chief Electoral Commissioner and Chairman of the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL), Mohamed Kenewui Konneh, has yesterday told pressmen that he and his colleague commissioners will not resign from office, as demanded by the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party.
At a widely publicised press conference hosted at the New Brook Fields Hotel in Freetown, the Leader and Presidential candidate of the APC, Dr Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara, demanded that the Chairman of the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL), Mohamed Konneh and all regional commissioners resign within 72 hours.
Samura noted that the party’s demand for the resignation of the ECSL Chairman was pegged on the fact that his appointment was done in a manner that epitomises the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Government’s flagrant disrespect for the rule of law and it underlying intent of the 2023 elections.
He said Konneh was imposed as the head of the commission without due consultation with leaders of other political parties as stipulated in the 1991 Constitution, adding that his independence is questionable, among several others.
“Accordingly, the APC will therefore demand that Mohamed Konneh and all other commissioners resign forthwith, to be replaced by an independent internationally accredited team of electoral commissioners who will conduct fresh electoral processes” he demanded.
While addressing accredited national elections observers at the Bintumani International Conference Centre on Thursday, June 15, the Chief Electoral Commissioner noted that: “I am happy to be here this morning to tell Sierra Leoneans that, I, Mohamed Kenewui Konneh, Chief Electoral Commissioner and other commissioners will not resign from office and we are going to conduct this elections come 24th June. As a matter of fact, the election has started because presidential election has been conducted for early voters. I am happy to report that we have party representatives in all the centres.
He encouraged political parties to continue with their campaigns until the last day and participate in the June 24 general elections to move the country forward.
The ECSL commissioner added that they were doing their best to ensure that they bring everyone on board to give out correct messages about the electioneering process and messages that will preach peace.
“We are appealing that everyone must be honest in their reporting that they send out or what they said in any meeting. There is a press release issued by the APC claiming that the security sector is part of the voting process that was conducted for early voters. I want them to know the security is not part of this voting process, it’s only for those that will be leaving the country for Mecca,” he said.