12 March 2018

Sierra Leone: SLPP 'Confident of Winning Election On First Ballot'

"We are confident that we are leading and that we are going to form the next government. We are winning not only in our traditional base but in the west as well. We have dismantled the APC monopoly over the west and north because we run a national campaign but they did not," says Dr. Alie Kabba, Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) Campaign Manager for the 2018 elections.

In a presser hosted at the Bintumani Hotel conference hall last Friday, Dr. Kabba stated that based on figures they have which he couldn't revealed, the party's presidential candidate, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, would be the next president of the country in the coming days.

He said the main opposition party would win the crucial presidential election as the people voted for change, adding that the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) has lost the mandate and confidence of the people.

Dr. Kabba raised very serious allegations that the APC have embarked upon rigging the outcome of last Wednesday's multitier elections.

"We have uncovered four main ways the APC is using to rig the outcome of the polls. Firstly, they are using the fake data of reconciliation and results forms to show that they are making progress even though they know they are running behind the SLPP. We have a pile of original signed and stamped RRF forms that some NEC officials have deliberated left in some polling stations. We have piles of completed and signed duplicate fake RRF with no serial numbers or security features and the handwriting on all of them are the same," he alleged.

He further claimed that it is data on the fake forms without serial numbers and security features that are now being entered as correct figures and data at tally centres.

Also, Dr. Kabba stated that the NEC regional tally center machines have been preprogrammed to reject voting data which are now being inputted into the system.

He added that they have been reliably informed by their polling agents and centre managers that the machines had since Thursday [8 March] been rejecting data that was being entered although it reads that all the data have been entered.

"This confirms that the machines have been hacked and preprogrammed with data from APC agents. We have also uncovered massive over voting. The votes in the ballot boxes are often far more than what we expect," he alleged.

The SLPP Campaign Manager accused NEC's Western Area Commissioner, Miatta French, of rejecting queries raised by concerned NEC staff whom she instructed to continue inputting the alleged wrong data.

He called on the commission to immediately investigate the conduct of Ms. French, who he claimed have been intimidating and instructing junior staff to input fake data.

However, speaking to the press last Saturday at NEC headquarters, Ms. French denied the allegation and indicated that legal action would be taken against the SLPP for defamation.

"I have not intimidated anyone at any point in time. I only call to greet them in the morning. We have several layers at the tally centre before it reaches me. I will not take the allegations lightly. My lawyers will soon write the SLPP," said Ms. French, who is Western Area Commissioner for NEC.

Dr. Kabba maintained that as a result of the alleged malpractices, NEC tallying machines now produce black stickers to confirm that the wrong data had been inputted when in actual fact the machines were programmed to produce blue stickers when the correct data is entered.

He said the party has decided to do an on-the-spot check of all tally centres to verify the number of black stickers and present it as evidence to NEC, Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and the international community to show that the APC is bent on rigging the outcome of the elections.

"NEC assured in a letter written to us that they will progressively release election results but unfortunately forty-eight hours after the polls, that has not happened. We acknowledge the enormous task they have but we urged them to start releasing results and display them as promised," he urged.

Meanwhile, NEC started releasing the provisional result last Saturday, more than forty-eight hours after the close of the polls at 5p.m. on Wednesday, 7 March.

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