Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 March 2018:
As confidence in the conduct of yesterday’s elections in Sierra Leone and the pending announcement of the results continue to wane, there are serious concerns the results – when they are announced, may be contested by opposition parties.
This is what the National Grand Coalition and the Coalition for Change parties said today in a joint statement:
“Sierra Leoneans went to the polls and cast their votes in a peaceful manner on 7 March 2018. However, the Coalition for Change (C4C) and the National Grand Coalition (NGC) have grave concerns that the results emerging will fail to reflect the will of the people of Sierra Leone.
“This would fall far short of the expectations the people of Sierra Leone had for this poll. The risk is that doubts about the credibility of this poll will translate into a lack of legitimacy for the next government, further undermining our development aspirations.
“Our own internal checks reveal that the process does not reflect anything close to free, fair, transparent and credible polls. Our concerns include the following:
1, In many instances, our party agents were prevented from witnessing the count. This is not the process we agreed to.
2, In some polling stations, scuffles and fracas led to the eviction of party agents, which stopped them from carrying out their legal duties. Furthermore, a climate of fear and intimidation pervaded many polling stations, further undermining the credibility of the elections.
3. To our surprise, two different Results Reconciliation Forms (RRFs) were used during the process. This discrepancy further undermines our faith in the process and we are investigating this matter.
“We call upon all those announcing provisional results to fully investigate and confirm the accuracy of these results, taking account of the risks of misinforming the public. We call upon the National Electoral Commission to fully address these issues prior to release of official results.
We also call upon local and international observers to take note of these concerns as they formulate their reports. We acknowledge the concerns expressed by our members and Sierra Leoneans in general and urge them to remain calm as we try to resolve these issues.”
For more information, please contact:
Lawrence Bolo Coker, Spokesperson, C4C, +232 77 240 529 / +232 79 676 663 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Julius Spencer, Spokesperson, NGC, +232 76 601 174 email@example.com