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Sierra Leone News: NEC promises fair and transparent elections

The Chair said, “One cannot conduct free, fair and transparent elections without the involvement of the media and civil society organisations.”
Giving an update on the activities of the Commission, the Director of Media and External Relations, Albert Massaquoi, said the nomination of local council such as councillors, chairman and mayor will started on 3 January and it will end on 14 January 2018, he added that for members of parliament and presidential candidates, it will start on17 January 2018, and it will end on 26 January 2018. He highlighted that “the entire month of January is slated for nominations.”
The Director of Media noted, “Village head elections are scheduled for 29 December 2017.” He added that nomination of candidates with regards to that election had been completed noting that campaign is on-going. He maintained that out of the 121 villages, 90 villages will observe the election process, adding that they only received one nomination for 32 villages which he said rendered those candidates in those villages unopposed. He underscored that out of the 90 villages, one candidate was petition leaving the number to 89.
Out of the 286 candidates that will contest the village head elections, only 14 out of that figure are females, leaving a wider gap as to how many male candidates will contest the election as opposed to women.
With regards to the nomination fee, Massaquoi said, “The Le100 million nomination fee for presidential candidates and the Le10 million for members of parliament, and the like, are still in the law books of Sierra Leone.”
Albert Massaquoi said currently NEC are pursuing two cases in the High Court of Sierra Leone with regards to election offences. He emphasised that such engagement will continue, with political parties, civil society organisations and the media.
MJB/21/12/17
By Zainab Joaque
Friday December 22, 2017.

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