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NEWS : Politics  

Plans Afoot to Counter Ghost Voters in Sierra Leone
By Sylvia O. Blyden
May 24, 2011, 17:06
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The SLPP Chairman for Kailahun District, Albert Jambai, has told Awareness Times that during the upcoming elections in Constituency 04 and 97, his party plans to vigorously counter suspected plans by the ruling APC to use the names of non-existent persons (Ghost Voters) alleged to be in the current National Voter Register of Sierra Leone so as to boost APCs results there. Jambai also debunked  assertion by Chair of National Electoral Commission (NEC) Dr. Christiana Thorpe over SLBC Radio yesterday morning that the party had not brought the issue of Ghost Voters to the attention of NEC.

One of the NEC Commissioners was here in Buedu a few days ago and we, in the SLPP, strongly brought the issue of ghost voters to her attention in the presence of all stakeholders. She has however appealed to us to trust that NEC will be able to detect faked Voter ID Cards, Jambai explained, adding However, we are not leaving anything to chance. We are going to ensure we place a good number of local people as Polling Agents at all the 45 polling stations in the Constituency as they would know the faces and names of those who live in their localities.

Jambai informed that he has asked NEC to ensure their Presiding Officers call out the names of Voters loudly when they present their Voter ID Cards. According to him, this was one way of ensuring that no person turns up to vote with another name. He said the Constituency was so closely knit that everyone virtually knew the other so public announcing of names will deter anyone from presenting a Voter ID Card which bore a name other than his own as his community would realise that was not his name.

It will be recalled that as reported in our last Fridays edition, the United Nations Technical Team and the Christiana Thorpe headed NEC had caused a serious anomaly in the Voter Registration process in 2007 when they failed to publicly display the Provisional Voter Register for it to be examined. In the process, hundreds, if not thousands of non-existent persons are suspected within the Register.

Please see below for the relevant Electoral Laws covering Voter Registration which Laws were not followed by Christiana Thorpe and the United Nations Technical Advising Team in 2007 thus leaving the people of Sierra Leone with a current Voter Register widely believed to be containing names of non-existent persons (Ghost Voters).


Republic of Sierra Leone

The Following are Extracts from the Nations

ELECTORAL LAWS ACT, 2002

 

PART I - PRELIMINARY

1. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires -

Elector means any person whose name is on any Register of Electors prepared in accordance with this Act;

 

PART II - REGISTRATION

OF VOTERS BY WARDS

3. (1) No person shall be registered as an elector for more than one ward or more than once in any ward.

 

PART III - PROCEDURES FOR

REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS

Exhibition of Provisional List of Electors!

17. Within Forty(40) days after the expiry of the date fixed under Section 12 of the registration of electors, the Electoral Commission shall compile a Provisional List of all electors registered for each ward and shall, by Government Notice in Form D in the Second Schedule, specify the places within that ward where a copy of the provisional list shall be exhibited by the Electoral Commission for the review of the public

 

Procedure as to Omissions and Objections

19. (1) Any person whose name has been omitted from any copy of the provisional list of electors or part thereof, prepared and exhibited under section 17, and who claims to have his name inserted therein shall, during the period of exhibition of the copy or part thereof, apply or present himself to the Electoral Commission to have his name inserted in such copy, in Form E in the Second Schedule.

19. (2) Any person whose name appears in any copy of the provisional list or part thereof may object to any other person whose name also appears therein as not being entitled to be registered as an elector, and shall, during the period of the exhibition of the copy or part thereof under section 17, give notice of his objection to the person objected to, in Form G of the Second Schedule, giving reasons for his objection.

19. (3) Within five days of the expiry of the exhibition referred to in subsection (1) and (2), the Electoral Commission shall cause to be prepared and exhibited, in a place where a copy of the provisional list or part thereof has been exhibited under Section 17, a statement of all claims and objections in respect of such copy or part thereof, giving the names of the persons who have made the claims or the objections.

 

Revision Inquiries

20. (1) A public inquiry shall be held for each ward by Revising Officer for that ward for the purpose of revising the provisional list for the ward.

21. (1) Upon the production at an inquiry by the Registration Officer of the provisional lists for the ward and statement of claims and objections relating thereto, the Revising Officer shall go through the lists and shall insert in any list the name of every person who is proved to his satisfaction to be entitled to have his name inserted therein and shall strike out of such list the name of every person who, upon the application of an objector or of the Registration Officer, is proved to the satisfaction of the Revising Officer not to be entitled to have his name retained therein or to be dead.


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