On Saturday 16th October 2022, in a press release signed by the Interim Transitional Governance Committee (ITGC) better known as the 21-man Committee Secretary General, Honourable Abdul Kargbo, has said that 80% of the provisional results of the 2022 voter registration rocess by the Electoral Commission For Sierra Leone (ECSL) announced has put their party (All People Congress) in the lead.
In the press release, and in the provisional results already announced, he said the 80% accounted for a total of two million, six hundred and twenty eight thousand, one hundred and ninety nine (2,628,199) people registered in both phases of the registration process and the two days extension period, which started on the 3rd September and ended 8th October 2022.
Giving a breakdown of the total figures, he said western Area, comprised of both Rural and Urban, has the highest number of registrants, with a figure of nine hundred and forty three thousand, two hundred and sixty one (943,261) registrants. Followed by the Northern region with five hundred and fifty two thousand, nine hundred and eleven (552,911) registrants.
Next the North West region with a figure of four hundred and twenty thousand, eight hundred and twenty one (471,821) registrants. Towing the queue is the Southern region with three hundred and seventy two thousand, one hundred and eighty nine (372,189) registrants; and finally the Eastern region with the least score of the collated figures so far, has a total of two hundred and eighty eight thousand, and seventeen (288,017) registrants.
“With these figures so far and as Sierra Leone known to be a polarized state politics wise, and with each political party believed to have its political strong holds, and with the highest of the figures as per the press release coming from the political strong holds of the main opposition party, the All People’s Congress (APC), gives the main opposition party a moment of respite in all indications that the 2023 general election is coming home taking into consideration a huge difference in the results published,” he said.
Explaining how the party reached a conclusion to get such figures published, he confirmed that they collated data from the Daily Accounting Form (DAF) from all the 3,630 voters registration centers, a from which records a total number of people registered per day up to the 32 days covered, and Registration Officer (RO) of every center, and also other national observers to signify the authenticity of such a document. He added that the APC party agents were able to collate daily registration figures across all centers; which were aggregated into the wards constituencies, districts and regional totals.
Having said that, he reiterated that 80% of the data from all voters registration centers nationwide has been inputted, while the data from the remaining 20% of the voters registration center is being processed and validated and will be published in the shortest period of time.
He again stated that the figures published are provisional and represent the reports they got from their party agents nationwide; and thus acknowledged the fact that ESCL is the only body that has the legal mandate to announce the final voter registration results. However, he said the party urged the ECSL to improved its transparency by facilitating the participation of political party representatives during the remaining stages of the registration process.
“Openness and inclusiveness in the critical stages of data consolidation, reduplication, publication of the provisional voters registration, exhibition update, and release of the final register, will continue to build trust in ECSL and the electioneering process,” he said.
He continued that it will also engender general acceptability of the outcome of the 24 June 2023 general elections. He said they are looking forward to seeing the release of the ECSL final registration results per centers, wards, constituencies and to district level.
Explaining the challenges faced in the registration process, especially in the first phase, he said party agents reported several challenges at voters registration centers like faulty Voter Registration Unit (VIU), late start of the process, illegal rejection of eligible registrants, especially first time registrants, operational inadequacies and others.
Also, he said their agents reported to them about inadequate supply of registration materials in many of the registration centers, which he said led to the close of centers before the stipulated hours of 5pm. As a result of the many technical and administrative difficulties, it deprived eligible and willing potential registrants. He continued that despite the challenges faced in the first phase being reported to ECSL that did not serve as a way of preventing other problems in the second phase.
In spite of these challenges, he said the APC appreciated all and sundry who have participated in the registration process for their efforts and for their patience and courage. Also, he gave another thanks and appreciations to their diligent party agents, who painstakingly ensured they have their independent figures.
“Lastly we thank those from diaspora who come to ensure they do their registration,” he said.