23 November 2012

Sierra Leone: SLPP Urges Supporters to Stay Calm

Both the national administrative secretary and the chairman campaign committee of the Sierra Leone People's Party have pleaded with their supporters to stay calm as no result has been announced by the NEC chairperson, Dr. Christiana Thorpe.

Alhaji Brima Koroma and Dr. J.D. Rogers made the call during an exclusive interview with Concord Times at their party's headquarters on Wallace Johnson Street, Freetown yesterday.

According to Koroma, NEC chairperson Dr. Thorpe's call for political parties to complain to the police about any malpractice in Saturday's elections does not bother the SLPP, saying the elections chief "is not a police officer".

He said their concern is the issue of over-voting and ballot stuffing for which he said Dr. Thorpe had commented on during a short statement she made on the SLBC/TV. Koroma maintained that the IRN results will affect the outcome of the final results, adding that the police will look into the criminal aspect of the alleged malpractices.

"We are calling on NEC to look into the ballot stuffing issue especially in Constituency 28, where the IRN broadcast results showed that the APC got 10,000 votes while the registered voters are 1,892," he said, adding, "this is just an indication to show that so many malpractices took place during the elections".

He however called on their supporters to remain calm and law abiding until the final announcement of the results by NEC.

Chairman of the SLPP campaign committee, Dr. J.D. Rogers, said the NEC chairperson is the right authority to handle elections matters. "It is worthy to note that her office is a public office supported by legislation, we therefore expect that she will keep the integrity of that particular office."

Rogers insisted that Dr. Thorpe must provide guidance and make decisions on all election matters and not the police. According to him, only matters bordering on criminality like gunshot and other grave violence acts should be handled by the police. "Election matters including malpractices must be decided by the chairperson of NEC and not the police," he said.

Rogers claimed that Dr. Thorpe had in an earlier statement admitted there had been election malpractices in several electoral areas, noting that 10% of the polling stations will be quarantined for investigation.

"We hope that the votes cast in these areas will be carefully looked at," he said adding that all illegal votes should be invalidated to ensure fair play. He urged all their supporters to avoid violence and keep calm until the results are announced by the NEC chairperson.

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