Chairman of the main opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) has once again questioned the neutrality of the Chief Electoral Commissioner in the conduct of the forthcoming general elections, nothing that "recent development within the commission has clearly indicated that Dr. Christina Thorpe is favouring the ruling All People's Congress in the forthcoming elections".
John Oponjo Benjamin told Concord Times that his party was not complacent with the manner in which Dr. Thorpe has been carrying out the electoral process, stating that it should be the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure the forthcoming polls were conducted peacefully and fairly.
He said the recent registration of over thirty-one thousand (31,000) people without fingerprints was an indication that "Dr. Thorpe is contemplating on rigging the election in favour of the ruling government".
"We are not going to allow somebody like Christina Thorpe to drag us back. She is not above the law and so she should abide by the rules and regulations governing the electioneering process," insisted the SLPP national chairman. "It all started with the voter registration exercise in which the APC mobilized people from Liberia to come and register at a particular constituency; the SLPP challenged the commission on that. Also, before the de-duplication exercise, it was reported that some percentage of registered voters got missing; the increment of candidature fees is another blunder on the side of NEC because the Chief Commissioner is deliberately refusing to adhere to the rules and regulations for a peaceful conduct of these all important elections."
Mr. Benjamin, who was speaking to Concord Times in an exclusive interview, claimed that NEC had registered over 31,000 people without fingerprints at various locations across the country "in order to create problems" come November 17.
"We are committed to the democratic process of this country and we will ensure that every process is duly followed. We are calling on the international community to look into the behaviour of Christina Thorpe ahead of the November elections," he concluded.
Reacting to the charge, NEC's Chief of External Relations, Albert Massaquoi, said the commission has re-registered all those Sierra Leoneans who had problems with their bio data during the first registration exercise and that the affected centers were opened to ensure that those affected individuals have the opportunity to exercise their democratic right.