The main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party has promised to organize a nationwide peaceful protest if the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) fails to address its concerns.

The APC made this statement in a press release dated 11th May 2023 after raising issues to the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone which the party considers as irregularities and demands urgent address.

“The All People’s Congress having highlighted the many concerns to be addressed in the next few days wants to put the ECSL on notice that if the ECSL fails to address these issues within the time stated, the party will exercise its constitutional right to call for a nationwide peaceful protest to demonstrate its dissatisfaction”.

The press release stated that the APC notes with utter dismay the substandard and mediocre Voter Identification Cards that the ECSL have issued out to voters for the June 24th, 2023 elections adding that the APC is cognizant of the fact that the ECSL is inter alia charged with the responsibility to conduction national elections with the mandate to registered voters, verification of voters eligibility, produce voter identification cards and the preparation of ballot papers and other electoral material for voters.

The press release also stated that the above-mentioned responsibilities if adhered to will promote transparency and boosts the confidence of political parties and voters.

The press release also mentioned the procurement process of voter identification cards which the APC said was clandestine as political parties were not involved adding that the quality of the voters identification cards is poor as almost all voter identification cards are in black and white which its Information Technology (IT) specialists have inspected and noticed the feature of the viter identification cards purported to be security feature is not true as any local internet cafeteria can produce those cards.

“The way and manner which ECSL removed so-called fraudulent entries in the register, including duplicates, was never publicized to allow the public and political parties in particular to scrutinize the lists and make official objections to entries they consider either fraudulent or duplicates. Providing electoral stakeholders access to scrutinize the voter lists would satisfy the electorate and political parties that the identity documents provided by the ECSL are legitimate”.

The release also stated that the voter ide tification cards produce by ECSL for the June 24th 2023 elections will not mane a credible election.

“Furthermore, we are of the firmest convictions that these Voter Identification cards will not make for credible elections. In that regard, and with a view to espousing credible elections, we will not tolerate the use of these Voter Identification cards for the forthcoming and any other elections”.

“The cards need to be regularized, system sanitized, and political parties be allowed to audit the system in order to know how many cards were produced, the securitized measures taken, and the names and appropriate addresses of the owners of the cards produced be published”.

“Finally, The APC strongly warn that the situation be ameliorated or redressed because the Party will never allow such unprotected cards to be used as the identity for eligibility in the forthcoming or any other elections in which the APC is a participant. So, in doing the amelioration, the APC entreat you to involve every political party throughout the process. The Commission is expected to be expeditious in redressing these concerns. The ECSL’s unresponsiveness to stakeholders’ concerns and the failure to address them has substantially undermined public trust in the entire electoral process”.

Read the official press release below