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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

WHO IS TO BLAME FOR ALLEGED OVER-VOTING? WHO STUFFED THOSE BALLOT BOXES?
By
Aug 2, 2010, 13:10
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First Published on September 19th, 2007

Citizens who voted at 477 Polling Stations across Sierra Leone were disenfranchised of their right to freely elect the President of their choice because someone allegedly placed extra ballot papers in the ballot boxes at these 477 Stations.

438 of the invalidated stations were located within well recognised SLPP strongholds such as Lumley Grassfield in the Western Urban Area; an indisputable Berewa stronghold which is one of only 5 polling stations disqualified in Western Area.

Aside the unique pattern of disqualifying Berewa/SLPP strongholds, we also note certain indisputable truths as follows.

1. Dr. Christiana Thorpe’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) with the assistance of the Carlos Valenzuela United Nations Technical Advisory Team to NEC were the ones who imported ballot papers during which they made the judgment call to order in an excessively surplus amount of ballots. No one outside this UN/NEC inner core even knew which country they ordered the ballot papers from!
2. NEC/UN also imported Ballot Validating Stamps that arrived at Lungi International Airport with 52 extra stamps secretly included for which no explanation has been offered till today. No one else even knew which country the unique BV stamps were ordered from!
3. It was NEC and only NEC who hired the Presiding Officers who conducted the elections at all those 477 Stations and certified the results of those stations.

In summary, no political party or government functionary did anything concerning the elections operations! NEC and the United Nations Staff did everything concerning the elections.

The only thing that the disenfranchised citizens did on that day was to stay in long queues for several hours waiting to cast their votes.

Incompetence or sheer fraud causes over-voting to occur. So, who should suffer for over-voting? Who is to blame if ballot papers and BV stamps are fraudulently used under the watchful eyes of the NEC Presiding Officer hired by NEC to conduct the elections? Surely not the poor citizens!

Infact, what if some of the NEC hired Presiding Officers had themselves stuffed the ballot boxes in a deliberate bid to disqualify all the areas where a certain candidate was likely to score high votes?! Almost 60% of Pujehun District was cancelled whilst 40% of Bo District votes were cancelled and over 30% of Kailahun District votes were cancelled.

Now, we are beginning to reflect on the frenzied allegations against Kailahun which were repeatedly made even after the allegations were proven to be without merit. Now, we reflect upon the adamant call by the European Union Observers for the votes in the South East to be "investigated".

And we end up shaking our heads as we ask questions inside our hearts. Questions we dare not ask out loud but which we hope Historians will one day answer.

We will now rest this matter now and move on to the task of reconciling a sharply divided nation called Sierra Leone. The land that we love.

© Sept. 2007; Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper.

PUBLISHER’S COMMENTS

We had hoped that reading in between the lines above and in the spirit of RECONCILIATION, H.E. President Koroma and Dr. Christiana Thorpe would have seen reason in following the dictates of the National Constitution as well as showing respect for the views of the country’s main opposition SLPP party which is why we had ceased to highlight the 2007 inadequacy of Dr. Christiana Thorpe’s NEC that has caused such umbrage amongst SLPP members. However, it might now be time to remind the populace about some of these key issues concerning those discredited 2007 Elections because those who do not learn from History are DOOMED to repeat it!


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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