APC Leader Raises Eyebrow on Deletion of Registrants in APC Strongholds
The Leader of the All People’s Congress party in Parliament, Hon. Chernor Maju Bah, has raised eyebrow on the deletion of registrants in most parts of APC strongholds.
According to the APC Parliamentary Leader, it is unclear as to how the ECSL arrived at the conclusion to delete 250,000 registrants on account of ‘double registration’ for which majority reportedly occurred in APC strongholds where the party has a strong base.
The Political heavyweight also emphasized that his party is constrained to accept the figures under those circumstances.
He recalled a press statement issued by him on 10th September 2022 wherein he urged ECSL in providing public and stakeholders confidence in the credibility of the electoral process by demonstrating inclusiveness, transparency and cooperation with stakeholder, but said since his request was made, ECSL has neither acknowledged nor acted upon the repeated requests.
He furthered that during his personal engagement with the Commission; he urged them to provide countdown of voters’ registration by centres and admitted that all those requests were not given the seriousness it deserved.
The lack of cooperation and responsiveness of the ECSL made the APC representatives in the political parties liasson committee and the ignoring of concerns raised by the APC representatives have exposed the sentiment in the deletion of huge numbers of registrants in ‘double registration’ centres, he categorically stated.
In respect of the regional and district tally announced by ECSL, Chericoco notes a considerable increase in ‘new registration’ in the South, east and Western Regions, while discovering a significant decrease of registrants in Northeast, Northwest and Western Urban regions, such a dramatic demographic shifts clearly warrant interinstitutional dialogue to provide required clarifications, he maintained.
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He added “In view of the mistrust that appears to have characterized population figures emanating from the controversial Mid-term Housing and Population Census versus the Schools Population Census and this highly problematic voters registration exercise and in the interest of transparency and credibility of the electoral process, it would have been expedient for the ECSL to accede to the calls for the centre – by – Centre analysis of the registration figures as there could beno better way to verify the accuracy of the figures we are being inundated with.
The refusal by the ECSL to avail the public, the APC and other parties with the centre-based breakdown of what essentially should be public information only subscribes to our position that the figures published may not have been the true reflection of the voter registration exercise”.
He registered his dismay on the absence of a centre – by – centre breakdown of both the registration figures and the over 250,000 registrants, which according to him, has exposed the lack of consultations on these critical actions, and timeliness of the Voters Registration process. He further intimated that the refusal of ECSL to publish the registration figures by centre also suggest that how the electoral commission intends to conduct such important elections without due reference to the concerns of the main opposition party.
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Conclusively, he stressed on the failure of ECSL to provide the necessary access to the main opposition APC and other parties to verify the figures generated for elections in Sierra Leone, saying how that has undermined the trust of his party in the process and demand for an independent audit of the voter registration process.