Sierra Leone Telegraph 10th March 2018
It is three days since the people of Sierra Leone held their elections. The country and the world are now waiting for the official announcement of the final results.
During and soon after the elections, there were claims of electoral fraud and malpractices made by various parties.
Today, the National Electoral Commission, announced 50% of the results. So far, the results show the ruling APC (All Peoples Congress) leading by 566,113 votes. The SLPP (Sierra Leone Peoples Party) is second with 564,687 votes and NGC (National Grand Coalition) in 3rd place with 87,722 votes. There is still a long way to go, for the remaining 50% to be counted.
The people of Sierra Leone are expecting those final results to be announced either tomorrow Sunday 11th March 2018 or Monday 12th March 2018.
Earlier today, following the announcement of the first phase of the results, the NGC, led by the former UNIDO boss Dr Kandeh Yumkella, contested the first 25% of the results and calling for a recount.
This is what the NGC Campaign Manager Sulaiman Tejan Banja-Sie, said in a press statement:
“On March 9, 2018, the NGC submitted a letter to the National Electoral Commissioner, expressing preliminary observations, concerns on and objections to the conduct of the March 7, 2018 elections.
“Given that NEC has announced 25% of the presidential results, the NGC is even more convinced now after further investigation, that these irregularities were systemic and widespread and include the following:
“The TEE bags were largely tampered with as results arrived at tally centres in unsecured brown envelopes instead of TEE bags; there were signed blank RRFs (Results Reconciliation Forms) in our possession; some RRFs were not signed by party agents and in most part of Pujehun, RRFs were not given to party agents.
“Furthermore, there were a lot of fake or photocopy RRFs to tally votes across the country and piles of RRFs were left at the centres and in some cases given to polling agents. Pre-programmed NEC tally machines rejected data entered because of
irregularities. There were many instances of over-voting in Bo, Kailahun, Kenema, Bombali, Tonkolili, Port Loko and Freetown.
“In addition, polling agents were thrown out of polling centres before the counting began and polling boxes were left unattended.
“There was disenfranchisement of our members and supporters who voted, and their votes were not counted. The disaggregation of results by polling stations should be reflected on NEC’s website immediately, as agreed in our political parties/NEC liaison meetings.
“In these circumstances, the NGC, following consultations with our membership and supporters hereby call for a recount in Bo, Kailahun, Kenema, Bombali, Tonkolili, Port Loko, Freetown amongst others.
“In the meantime, the NGC calls on all Sierra Leoneans, in the supreme interest of our country, to remain calm while we await further information.”
The NGC is so far behind in the results read so far that I wonder what a recount would do for the party. Now is the time for all opposition parties to rally behind the SLPP to beat the APC. What every progressive Sierra Leonean wants right now is change. Beating the APC in the second round of voting is the only thing that will bring about the much-desired change.
NGC’s Kandeh Yumkella’s best option now is to join the SLPP party. His father was one of the co-founders of SLPP, and not to join the APC if there is runoff. If he does contrary to this, his political career will suffer greatly as we have seen with PMDC Margai whose father and uncle were also co-founders of the SLPP party.
The APC has a tactic of dragging people for opportunities they can take advantage of and once their political agenda has been achieved, they then dump you. Take the case of Charles Margai, Samuel Sam Sumana, Late Capt Nyuma, Musa Tarawallie and others