National Elections Watch (NEW) has disputed the recently announced Presidential Elections’ date by the National Electoral Commission.
According to NEW, the proclamation by the Chief Electoral Commissioner that the Presidential Elections will be held on the 7th March 2018, violates the 90 days provision stipulated by Section 43 sub section 3 (b) of the Public Elections Act 2012 and the ECOWAS protocol on Democracy and Governance.
The Public Elections Act 2012 in Section 43 subsection 3 (b) states: “ in any case, the Electoral Commission , may in proclamation referred to in subsection 2 fix the actual date of election, the date not been earlier than thirty days and not later than sixty days before the date appointed for voting in elections.”
On this note, NEW has called on NEC to explain to the citizens of Sierra Leone the reason for the extension of the date for presidential elections beyond the 23rd February 2018.
They furthered that where as the Public Elections Act states that the registration of voters, updating and revision of the voters shall be conducted not later than six months before an election or referendum, they (NEW) do not see
this to happen in an already tight elections calendar.
“… therefore recommends deferring the conduct of the referendum after 2018 electoral cycle,” NEW proposed.
They however applauded the announcement of the Local Council and Parliamentary elections date by President Koroma and the subsequent proclamation by the National Electoral Commission.