During the last general elections in Sierra Leone, it was held on four tiers: The Presidency, Parliamentarians, Head of Local Government Council and Local Councillor. It got dubbed as the “4-4-4 elections” which was a slogan popularised by the ruling APC calling on its supporters to vote ‘4 for 4’ meaning vote APC in all the 4 seats being contested for in your area: President, Parliamentarian, Head of Local Government and Local Councillor for your Ward. It was the very first time for such an election to be held in Sierra Leone and it coincided with all the elections falling due in the same year. However, since the tenure for local councils (four years) are shorter than those for the presidency and parliamentarians (five years), it was not likely that the next set of those elections would again coincide.
However, in a one day meeting organised by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) through the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), the National Electoral Commission on Thursday 10th September 2015 gave political parties fourteen (14) days to come up with a position paper on the proposed postponement of the 2016 Local Council Election so that it will coincide with the next Presidential & Parliamentary elections.
In his PowerPoint presentation, the Director of Administration NEC Abubakarr Koroma informed the political parties Executive Officers that because of the Outbreak of Ebola and the postponement of the National Population Census, Local Council Elections will not be held in December 2016. The Local Council Elections he says will now be held together with the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections between January and February 2018. Mr. Koroma informed the meeting that Boundary Delimitation will be held from April – December 2016, Update of Voters Register from January – June 2017, Referendum from September – December 2017 and Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections between January - February 2018.
In his Statement, the Chief Electoral Commissioner and Chairman of NEC Mr. Mohamed Nfa Conteh assured members of the political parties of NEC’s commitment in the conduct of a credible, free and fair elections. The conduct or activities of NEC he says hinged on the work of other institutions like Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL) and the Constitutional Review Committee.
In his statement, the Chairman of the meeting who doubles as Chairman of the PPRC, Hon. Justice M.E. Tolla Thompson says Political Parties are crucial in the furtherance of democracy and good governance in Sierra Leone. Political Parties he says must play a critical role in contributing towards the proposal put forward by NEC.
NOTE: Original article by PPRC with introductory paragraph by our editors
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