As vote count continues in Sierra Leone, the SLPP presidential candidate Bio says he is concerned
about the electoral process.
By Abubakarr Kamara | The AfricaPaper
FREETOWN – The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has in a press statement issued by the Presidential aspirant, Julius Maada Bio described the elections to be full of discrepancies, citing statement made earlier by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Chairperson, Dr. Christiana A.M. Thorpe as an example of what the SLPP observed on polling day.
Thorpe announced that polling was disrupted in Ward 392 and 394 in the Western Urban District because of elections malpractices. She noted that those responsible for the unrest have been arrested and helping the Sierra Leone Police in their investigations, while voting continued in Wards 392 and 394 uninterrupted.
“…NEC Chairperson admitted the disruption of polling in some parts of the Western Area… In addition to the discrepancies identified by the NEC Chair and the National Election Watch (NEW), it has come to the attention of the party that the factors that have affected the polling in Freetown are more widespread and a lot more serious than has been reported by the NEC,” Bio told The AfricaPaper.
While Bio is optimistic that the SLPP has ample evidence and vital information to substantiate varied incidents of irregularities that violate the Electoral Code, the ECOWAS Observers say those inadequacies observed do not diminish the transparency, fairness or the credibility of the electoral process at this point in time. Still, Bio believes it has the potential to affect the final outcome of these elections.
“There are evidence of blatant ballot stuffing in several centers, especially in the Northern Region, Kono and Freetown with full complicity of NEC staff in most of these cases. There are videos of the NEC staff ensuring that voters cast their ballots for Ernest Koroma,” Bio claims.
NEC Commissioner- West, Miatta French softly dismissed the allegations noting that they have not received reports of over voting and ballot stuffing in those areas identified by the opposition either from Independent Observers or political party officials. She confirms that everything in relation to the counting and tallying of ballots is going on smoothly and that NEC is in control of the electoral process and doing its work unhindered.
Meanwhile, official results for Parliamentary, Mayor/Chairperson and Councilors are expected to start coming out on midweek according to a NEC Official.