The electoral will of the people was stolen on March 7 – says NGC

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 March 2018:

The National Grand Coalition Party (NGC) has given its qualified support for today’s court decision to hold the presidential runoff election on Saturday, 31st March 2018, as the party comes to terms with what many in Sierra Leone describe as “electoral victory stolen from the NGC at the ballot box”.

Speaking at a press conference in Freetown today, Dr Dennis Bright  – the NGC chairman, said that in principle, the party is “prepared to support the conduct of the run-off following the vacation of the injunction, but on the condition that NEC would have addressed all the serious issues of malpractice and irregularities raised by most of the political parties including NGC.”

Dr Bright called on stakeholders, including the international community “to provide the necessary support and assistance conducive to a peaceful, fair, transparent and credible outcome of the process”.

The following statement was issued by the party at their press conference:

“Fellow Sierra Leoneans, members, supporters and sympathizers of the National Grand Coalition, you would recall that on March 24, 2018 the High Court of Sierra Leone granted an interim injunction against the National Electoral Commission (NEC) restraining the commission from continuing preparations for holding the run-off elections between the SLPP and APC.

Today, March 26, 2018, we are aware that the same High Court has lifted the interim injunction making way for the run-off elections to be conducted tomorrow, March 27, 2018.

It is significant to note that the majority of political parties including the two parties involved in the run-off have reported gross irregularities and malpractices in the conduct of the March 7 elections. Indeed, it was on account of these irregularities that a member of the APC acting in his individual capacity sought an injunction to enable, among other things, a “forensic” audit on the entire process.

As a party, the National Grand Coalition (NGC) has also released a series of statements on the conduct of the elections as noted below:

• On March 9, 2018, following the release of just 25 percent of the results cast, the NGC released a press statement reporting a series of irregularities identified in the voting process that would require a re-count across the country.

The party wasted no time in informing the National Electoral Commission (NEC) through the office of the Chief Electoral Commissioner/National Returning Officer its observations, concerns and objections. The party has since then sent three additional letters to NEC outlining our request as mandated by law and also met with senior executives of the commission.

  • At a Press Conference held on March 10, 2018, the party exposed examples of irregularities and confirmed that after further investigations, the said irregularities were not only systemic but widespread.

The party requested specifically for a re-count in Bo, Kailahun, Kenema, Bombali, Tonkolili, Port Loko Districts and in the Western Area. Unfortunately, our request was not given due consideration for reasons best known to the Commission.

  • In our opinion, the NGC stands out as the biggest victim of the irregularities and malpractices that have marred the elections in all the regions. However, consistent with our internal processes and our fundamental principles of putting Country First, we embarked on a nationwide consultation with our membership and stakeholders to decide our next course of action.

This led to the release of a statement on the party’s position on the anticipated presidential run-off elections made on March 21, 2018.

  • Our position was clear: while encouraging its members and supporters to put Sierra Leone first and make their own individual choices as to who to vote for, the party decided not to endorse either of the two parties involved in the run-off.
  • Furthermore, since March 9, the leadership of the NGC has met and engaged members of the international community including election observers to share their views on the conduct of the elections and to warn against premature pronouncement on the credibility of the elections. It has now become clear that a significant portion of the irregularities occurred after the casting of ballots between the polling stations and the tally centres.
  • Given that the election results have been discredited by all the major political parties in the country on the basis of evidence of malpractice everywhere, our nation is now confronted with the embarrassment of accepting the results of a sham election proceeding to a run-off only to save the State.
  • The leadership of the NGC would like to clearly state its position as follows:1. That in principle we are prepared to support the conduct of the run-off following the vacation of the injunction but on the condition that NEC would have addressed all the serious issues of malpractice and irregularities raised by most of the political parties including NGC.2. We call on all stakeholders including the international community to provide the necessary support and assistance conducive to a peaceful, fair, transparent and credible outcome of the process.”

You can watch Dr Yumkella speaking at the press conference today – 26 March 2018:

6 Comments

  1. The culture of thieving is well entrenched in the minds of Sierra Leoneans. Thats why you continue to ask what people outside Salone have done for the country. You will encourage someone to steal your resources and ‘help’ you a bit for all to see. In the west, you dont need to have done anything for your country through your own meager resources, as one is expected to use his salary to pay bills.

    Your country should provide opportunities for you with a better management. Mr Makevelli, you better go back and do some research to know what people like Blair, Obama, Clinton, etc, did for their countries before becoming heads of govts. All these people were ordinary hard working humans doing their best to upkeep their families; and you saw where they ended.

    In Salone it’s always the same wanting to know what one has done for the country, no matter how. But here in the west you only need to have a good CV, right frame of mind, good management skills, etc. We are doomed.

  2. Personally I was advocating to give Kandeh Yumkella the benefit of the doubt. But based on this press conference, I believe that he ought to know better after working for the United Nations over a decade, and now trying to minimize and discredit the only credible institution that is responsible for electing our president.

  3. Dr. Denis Bright thanks for your press statement. NGC is not a party to reckon with. You still have many challenges and hurdles to overcome.

    Many people first looked at your party to be a threat but it was not. You have more youths in your party who refused to register but were with you during your rallies. In Freetown where Dr. Bright resides, none of your candidates was victorious – what a shame. Examine yourselves – all NGC key stakeholders and trace your route. Your route is tracing you.

    Check and review your old work place and records in Sierra Leone politics.Just take a look at the decision you have taken recently to remain neutral. You are afraid of taking election risks – should we throw our weight behind party X or Y and if that party fails to win, NGC will have no position in the government.

    You want to be appointed to ministerial or key positions in the government of the day. We know your tricks and we will always support you behind the scenes but not with our hearts.

  4. There may have been irregularities on March 7. But I don’t believe they were significant enough to affect the outcome of those elections. In particular, I don’t believe there was a conspiracy to steal votes from the National Grand Coalition party.

    The NGC had no chance against the entrenched APC and SLPP. These two parties are alive in the bloodstreams of Sierra Leoneans. I hope I will live long enough to see a third party win national elections in Sierra Leone. But I am surely not going to lose any sleep over that.

  5. In your right senses, can Sierra Leoneans vote overwhelmingly for KKY’s NGC? Who is he, what has he done for Sierra Leone and why vote for him? He never voted before in this country and so the sober minded people paid him with his own coin. Don’t be surprised after 5 years from now, to see his NGC pulling a 2% in presidential elections. The man is not a presidential material. He is too anxious/greedy for power. Sorry to say he is going to be in the political wilderness forever and ever.

    • You people seem seem to have lost direction and the will to change your lives. It has been APC or SLPP since independence and look at the type of living and quality of life our people have to settle for. Some of you are so passionate over those reckless so-called political parties; it’s like a religion despite the economic backwardness of Salone.

      You talk about things that have no relevance to society. You said KKY had never voted so should be ignored despite the message he had for the nation. Do you know Salone is one of the very few countries in the world where people who left the country in search of opportunities have no voting right outside the country? How can one vote when the chance of voting is not there? You are so short-sighted, that you dont want to hear anything else apart from those politicians who come to the game to get themselves rich.

      I have been out of my country for more than 20 years – do you think am not interested in the politics of the country? We simply dont have the chance to vote, and you expect people to stay in a country where opportunities are for the very few. The future will continue to be gloomy until you change the way you think and live.

      People who have left the country have the opportunity to compare Salone with other countries and we surely know where our country is in terms of the world or better still African rankings. Maada and Samura are not the answer to Sierra Leone’s problems but it might take the next 50 years for you to realise that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.