Sierra Leone 2012 elections – time to reflect and ask questions

Dr. Sama Banya

25 November 2012

She did it in 2007. She robbed us of the result of the Presidential run-off and gave the keys to State House to Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma of the APC.

She had preceded her action in 2007, by announcing the invalidation of the results of 477 voting stations – mostly from Kailahun, Kenema and Pujehun districts, alleging over voting at those stations.

She has never to this day, produced documentary evidence, in support of her allegation of SLPP electoral malpractice in 2007.

Eventually, that sad episode became history. So let us fast forward – 2012.

In preparation for the just concluded elections, Christiana Thorpe sought and obtained Parliamentary approval to automatically nullify the votes of any polling station, which exceeded 100% of the registered voters.

And so we went to the polls on the 17 November. This time there were a number of malpractices perpetuated by the APC government, backed by NEC and security officers, which action we had complained to the NEC woman.

These reports of malpractice have seriously compromised the credibility of the 2012 voting process.

But, as is her usual habit of treating opposition complaints with disdain, after persistent prodding from us, she came out with a press statement in which she dismissed our concerns by the wave of her hand.

In 2007, the NEC did not resume the announcement of the results after closing down on Wednesday September 13.

And then suddenly on September 17, she announced the overall results as I have just stated and gave victory to the APC’s Ernest Bai Koroma.

This time around, yet again, following her abrupt dismissal of our complaints and while votes were still being counted, she suddenly announced the overall results and as planned gave victory to President Ernest Bai Koroma.

The opposition SLPP Presidential candidate – Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio had said repeatedly, even before the polls, that we would only accept credible results from the NEC.

And certainly, the results announced by her on Friday evening, are far from credible. President Koroma has already been sworn in to serve a second term.

Faced with this fate accompli, our Presidential candidate has REITERATED THAT WE WOULD NEVER CONCEDE DEFEAT in the present situation.

And like the matured and responsible leader that he is, and contrary to the demonizing picture being painted of Maada Bio by the APC and their bought over journalists and praise singers, the SLPP candidate has advised all of us to stay calm and look up to the party.

We are particularly urged to avoid any confrontation with the biased law enforcement agents, who would not hesitate to brutalize opposition supporters as they have already done in a few places.

Maada Bio has directed that, we are to report any cases of assault and molestation to the police, but in the company of local constituency executive members.

So, what are our options in the prevailing circumstances and influencing factors?

Taking to the streets should not even be an option, as we would only provide fodder for the ruling party’s thugs to unleash mayhem in the country.

And what about the courts?

That suggestion must be the joke of the decade. But there must be a solution, and this is where we must trust the leadership of the party as led by Bio, Kadi Sesay and the Executive Council.

Yes, we have been through this before. It is DE’ JAVU!


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