18th March 2018
Opposition Parties Cry Foul and Question the Credibility of the Early Election Results!
By a press release (09/03/18)
Counting is ongoing but opposition parties have cried foul and questioned the early election results as it did not reflect the will of Sierra Leoneans.
The jittery ruling APC government has been accused by all opposition political parties of electoral malpractices before, during and after the March 7 general elections. (Photo: The NGC and C4C leaders Dr. Yumkella and Sam Sumana respectively raise concerns). Duplication of ballot papers, restricting vehicular movements, blocking out party agents from polling stations after the polls close, counting ballot papers in centres without electricity power etc. are vices how the APC rigged the elections.
Now a day after the elections, the National Grand Coalition NGC party and the Coalition 4 Change C4C party have released a joint press statement to express grave concerns about the credibility of the latest elections results presently emerging that did not really reflect the will of voters in the country. Below reads the press statement:
C4C AND NGC EXPRESS GRAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THE 7 MARCH ELECTION PROCESS
Sierra Leoneans went to the polls and cast their votes in a peaceful manner on 7 March 2018. However, the Coalition for Change (C4C) and the National Grand Coalition (NGC) have grave concerns that the results emerging will fail to reflect the will of the people of Sierra Leone.
This would fall far short of the expectations the people of Sierra Leone had for this poll. The risk is that doubts about the credibility of this poll will translate into a lack of legitimacy for the next government, further undermining our development aspirations.
Our own internal checks reveal that the process does not reflect anything close to free, fair, transparent and credible polls. Our concerns include the following:
1. In many instances, our party agents were prevented from witnessing the count. This is not the process we agreed to.
2. In some polling stations, scuffles and fracas led to the eviction of party agents, which stopped them from carrying out their legal duties. Furthermore, a climate of fear and intimidation pervaded many polling stations, further undermining the credibility of the elections.
3. To our surprise, two different Results Reconciliation Forms (RRFs) were used during the process. This discrepancy further undermines our faith in the process and we are investigating this matter.
We call upon all those announcing provisional results to fully investigate and confirm the accuracy of these results, taking account of the risks of misinforming the public.
We call upon the National Electoral Commission to fully address these issues prior to release of official results.
We also call upon local and international observers to take note of these concerns as they formulate their reports.
We acknowledge the concerns expressed by our members and Sierra Leoneans in general and urge them to remain calm as we try to resolve these issues.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, 8 March 2018