S/Leone : civil society, opposition scold election boss over rigged polls

A voter casts his ballot at a polling station during Sierra Leone's general election in Freetown, Sierra Leone March 7, 2018. Photo : REUTERS / Olivia Acland

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Sierra Leone’s main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) and civil society organizations have accused the National Electoral Commission over rigged bye-election results, sources said Thursday.

The African Press Agency made the revelation quoting a statement by the APC on Tuesday.

Sources said the APC has therefore called for the resignation of the head of the Commission, Mohamed N’Fa Allie Conteh, whom it accused of incompetence and for endangering the peace and stability of the country.

The statement accused Conteh of resorting to the same tactics that culminated in the victory of the incumbent government of President Maada Bio during last year’s presidential polls.

The latest denunciation stems from the just concluded controversial bye-election for a local council seat in Kambia district in the northern part of the country which is the stronghold of the ousted SLPP.

The APC believes it won the polls but were rigged by the Commission in favor of the SLPP.

The APC says its decision was taken at a meeting of the party’s National Advisory Committee (NAC), its most powerful decision making organ.

“The NAC, having carefully and diligently reviewed the conduct of the National Electoral Commission in the recent bye-election in Ward 196 in Tonko Limba Chiefdom, Kambia District, has reached the unanimous decision that it will no longer participate in any future elections conducted by NEC under the leadership of Mr Mohamed N’Fa Allie Conteh,” the statement reads in part.

Hence, the statement said the APC will not nominate any candidate in the pending bye-election in Ward 257 in Port Loko District.

The statement said the party has lost faith, trust and confidence in the NEC in its current state which it described as “incompetent, impartial” and lacking in credibility to conduct any future elections.

It warned that such a situation threatens national unity, security and stability.

The Kambia bye-election, held on March 9, has raised political tension, nearly a year after the disputed general elections that brought President Julius Maada Bio to power.

© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng