The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has announced October, 25, 2020 to January, 27, 2021 as dates for conduct of Paramount Chieftancy elections in Sierra Leone.

The Commission has also scheduled December, 12, 2020 for conduct of Parliamentary re-run election in Constituency 110 in the Western Area Rural District; Bye-elections in Ward 287 in Bo District, Constituency 078, Ward 226 in Karene District and Ward 348 in Moyamba District.

In a statement, Mohamed Kenewui Konneh, the Chairman and Chief Electoral Commissioner of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) said the NEC has developed COVID-19 prevention guidelines that have been approved by the National Covid-19 Response Centre (NACOVERC) for the conduct of the electoral activities nationwide.

According to Mohamed, “MLGRD and NEC have jointly revised existing guidelines for the conduct of Paramount Chieftaincy elections in line with provisions of the Paramount Chieftaincy Act, 2009 (Act No. 10 of 2009)… qualifications and disqualifications of Paramount Chieftaincy elections are found in Sections 8 and 9 of the Paramount Chieftaincy Act, 2009 (Act No. 10 of 2009)”.

He also said that nominations of Candidates for the Parliamentary and Local Council bye election will be open from 9th – 10th November, 2020 at NEC district offices while political parties have till November 5, 2020 to submit the list of their endorsed candidates for the bye-elections.

Paramount Chiefs wield enormous power in rural Sierra Leone and are frequently at the centre of most development projects carried out in their chiefdoms.

Traditional customs and traditions in Sierra Leone have always clashed with Western traditions since the time the country was colonized by the British to the present day.

The Paramount Chiefs, as custodians and symbols of traditional customs, are usually the targets of attacks by supporters of Western or modern ways of doing things. The Chiefs, like their counterparts in other African countries, however always remained steadfast in the preservation of their culture which is passed on from one generation to the other.