15 November 2012

Sierra Leone: NEC - Sierra Leone Ready for Polls on Saturday

Photo: Tiggy Ridley/IRIN
A policeman uses a poster to show a woman how to mark a ballot correctly (file photo).

Electorates in Sierra Leone will go to the polls on Saturday, 17 November 2012 to elect a new president and according to the spokesperson of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), all is set for the country to go through a peaceful, transparent and credible elections.

According to Albert Massaquoi, Head of Outreach and external Relation for Sierra Leone's National Electoral Commission (NEC), in an interview with AEP stated that, "the electoral body has already begun distributing polling station materials throughout the country in preparation for the polls and the Commission has also taken measures to speed up the announcement of election results and the electoral body will ensure Saturday's general election is transparent and credible".

"The commission is poised to conducting credible elections and in that vein, the commission is undertaking series of activities, amongst which the commission has recruited over 70,000 staff and training is underway for staff at different levels all over the country."

Massaquoi added that "the Electoral Commission is working closely with all political parties as well as the police to prevent any violence during the vote since political party activities in the run-up to the election could create tension and violence".

According to Massaquoi, "Regional coalition centers have been set up in four regional capitals,the results at local levels, regional levels and at district levels would be announced no sooner than [when] the polls are closed. So, in a couple of days we would expect to have all of the results finalized and announced, which would be the final results."

On his part, Momoh M.Kanneh, District returning Officer in Kono, in an interview with AEP yesterday, confirmed all departments and various units are set and poised for the elections to take place as basic materials have been deployed to all centres and that the Commission is also working closely with the Armed forces as well to tighten up security across the country.

Sierra Leoneans are encouraged that these elections will help embrace democracy as the means of restoring peace and reviving this once flourishing West African country.

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