Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 March 2018:
With over 50% of all polling districts now counted by the National Electoral Commission (NEC), it is understood that official announcement of provisional results will be made this weekend, amid claims by all parties of serious electoral malpractices.
Today, the spokesman of the National Grand Coalition party (NGC) – Dr. Julius Spencer, issued this statement:
“The National Grand Coalition (NGC) is very pleased to report that the party has won several parliamentary seats and councillor positions in the March 7, 2018 elections. We have also observed a very positive trend in the presidential poll. (Photo: NGC presidential candidate – Dr. Kandeh Yumkella).
“The NGC has also taken note of the so-called provisional results of the elections originating from several media houses. It is important to note that the broadcast of these results is what they are – provisional results and their veracity is yet to be confirmed.
“The NGC, can state categorically that its experts have identified a number of serious irregularities in the voting process which will in some areas require immediate recount across the country.
“We will be approaching the National Electoral Commissions (NEC) with our observations, concerns and objections.
“Thus, whilst the nation awaits the formal announcement and publication by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) of the official results, the NGC hereby call on all members and supporters of the National Grand Coalition and the public to remain vigilant whilst our technicians work round the clock to analyze and compile the relevant data to back up the position our party will be taking.
“The NGC calls on all Sierra Leoneans to avoid, in the supreme interest of our country, the temptation of drawing hasty conclusions from rumours, but rather patiently wait for the NEC to finalize the processing of the results.
“We will continue to vigilantly engage NEC, as they tally and process inputs from across the country.”
Some of the allegations of electoral malpractice that are being reported by opposition parties, include: the use of fake RRF1 forms to tally votes, giving advantage to the ruling APC; piles of RRF originals were left at some of the centres; NEC tallying machines hacked by APC operatives have been pre-programmed to reject the data entered; evidence of over voting in some polling centres; NEC machines producing wrong data – for example printing black instead of blue stickers; and that IRN has given the ruling APC undue access to provisional results.
These are very serious allegations, which, if allowed to be swept under the carpet, can further damage the credibility of the entire process and may lead to mass rejection of the NEC results when they are announced this weekend.