This morning, international observers gave their verdict that Sierra Leone’s presidential , legislative and local council elections conducted last Saturday were free, fair and credible and isolated irregularities did not affect the integrity of the elections. Their statement has been followed by the Sierra Leone Political Parties Registration Commission ( PPRC), which said the same thing. Thus, the key institutions that monitored the elections–The international observers and the PPRC– have given the polls their blessings. What remains now is for the Electoral Commissioner, Christiana Thorpe, to announce the results.
WE BRING YOU THE STATEMENT FROM THE PPRC :
Preliminary statement by the PPRC on the Multi-tier Elections conducted on 17th November, 2012.
Pursuant to its constitutional and statutory Mandates, the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) deployed 60 personnel including Commissioners to monitor the conduct of political parties in the multi-tier elections conducted by the National Electoral Commission on 17th November, 2012. In addition, the Commission worked in collaboration with District Code Monitoring Committees (DCMCs) in all the Administrative Districts of Sierra Leone. This was done with the view to bolster the Commission’s monitoring capacity based on the Political Parties Act, the Codes of Conduct for Political Parties, the Electoral Laws Act and Rules and Regulations governing the elections. In its deployment strategy, the Commission considered critical areas including flash points throughout the Country. Based on reports received, the Commission is satisfied by the following issues:
a. Conduct of Political Parties and Party Agents
On the whole, the political parties conducted their affairs peacefully and within the bounds of the law and Code of Conduct for Political Parties. This in the Commission’s view, contributed to the peaceful outcome of the elections.
The Commission appeals to all political parties to maintain the peace and maintain camaraderie during the post-election period. Furthermore, the Commission urges all political parties to show restraint by not engaging in any action that would mar the peaceful outcome of the election and the accolade gained by all political parties.
b. The National Electoral Commission (NEC)
The Commission is satisfied with the management of the elections by NEC. This largely contributed to the good conduct of all party operatives on Election Day. However, the Commission noted few and isolated irregularities in a number of polling stations but such irregularities did not in any form undermine the credibility of the entire election countrywide. The Commission therefore congratulates NEC for their professional management of the elections.
c. The Security Forces
The Commission notes with satisfaction that the Office of National Security (ONS) and the Sierra Leone Police and the Sierra Leone Armed Forces under the Military Aid to Civil Power (MACP) provided the enabling environment for the political parties to conduct their affairs in a peaceful manner on Election day. The Commission appeals to the security forces to continue to provide security up to the end of the electoral process.
d. Local and International observers
The Commission noted a large turnout of local and international observers. The large turnout and monitoring of both local and international observers contributed to the credible nature of the casting of ballots. In general, it was observed that voting process was orderly and calm. However, it was noted that ballot boxes arrived late in some polling stations/centers there were long queues at some stations.
e. General appeal to the public
The Commission wishes to commend the Sierra Leonean public for their orderly behaviour throughout the voting period. The level of tolerance and civility expressed on the Election Day is commendable. However, the Commission calls on the public to maintain the peaceful and refrain from any act of provocation and intimidation during and after the declaration of final results by NEC.
The Commission will continue to monitor the situation in the country.
f. Press Conference
The Political Parties Registration Commission will be hosting a press conference on the conduct of political parties on Tuesday 20th November 2012 at 12 noon. All Political Parties are invited to attend this all important conference.