President Bio receives National Electoral Commission’s 2019 Report

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 July 2020:

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has today presented its 2019 Annual Report to President Dr Julius Maada Bio at State House, in line with Section 33 (12) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

Acting Chief Electoral Commissioner, Edmond Sylvester Alpha, said that the report covers the profile of the Commission, elections conducted within the period under review and gender analysis on elections, noting that from all indications, there was a marked increase in the participation of women in elections conducted by the Commission in 2019.

He also thanked the Government for its financial support to the Commission, saying that as a result they were able to conduct all elections during the period under review.

Edmond Sylvester Alpha also noted government’s support for the commencement of the implementation of the construction of regional offices in Bo and Kenema, and the construction of a perimeter fence in Bombali.

“The Commission reiterates its commitment in strengthening collaboration and greater engagement with government, international partners and key stakeholders for the conduct of credible and transparent elections that meet international standards and the expectations of the people of Sierra Leone,” he said.

In his response, the President thanked the Commission for doing a good job, saying that despite it being a difficult one their job is important in promoting democracy in the country.

He further implored the NEC to do more about integrity, and emphasised that their proper functioning would go a long way to determine the trajectory of democracy in the country.

President Bio also welcomed the progress the Commission had made so far in paying specific attention to gender and disability issues, as key pillars in their various initiatives.

He added that the process must always be inclusive because of the government’s commitment to inclusive development.

President Bio assured the NEC that government would continue to endeavour to make sure that adequate funding is provided to finance the activities of the Commission, as he implored the NEC to continue to do their best to provide the stability needed for development.

1 Comment

  1. The national elections commission is an independent body that is responsible for registering political parties, conducting of elections, referendum, voters registration, drawing up of consistency boundaries, and above all else educating the citizenry about the elections process. The electoral commission should work with the government of the day and all stake holders, to ensure the elections are conducted in a peaceful atmosphere. Sometimes, women and disabled people are denied the right to exercise their democratic rights, just because they fear the threat of violence on polling day. The one good thing about our country, women’s participation is on the increase.

    Historically, Sierra Leone is one of few countries that extend women’s suffrage as early as 1792.The elections of that year stipulated heads of Households could vote. As it happens one-third of whom were women. Generally speaking, when it comes to the extention of voting rights for women and gender equality, Sierra Leone was well ahead of its time, if one compares that even to some western democracies. Today voter participation in African countries is higher than most mature western democracies. In order for us to maintain this momentum, so voters don’t lose interest, the National electoral commission should remain independent, and financially budgeted for the work it does.

    In other to aviod any ambiguities, especially, when it comes to information on printed ballot papers. And how the process is policed and conducted more needs to be done. The retuning officers should be given all the necessary support required to conduct the elections peacefully, so no one party feels cheated when the polling booths are closed. The introduction of electronic voting should be enhanced, so the counting process is quickly verified and results are announced within hours after the close of polls. The longer it takes to announce the results, the more voters start to lose faith in the electoral process. Sometimes, defeated parties like to challenge results, and in some cases seek a recount.To aviod this sort mishaps, the electoral commission should ehance its central hub where counting and tallying of results are joined up around the country. Sierra Leone is a small country. For Elections to be judge credible, they should be Transparent and witnessed by international elections observers. May God bless Sierra Leone.

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