Barely three weeks to the local council elections, 37 nominated candidates from a cross section of all the registered political parties who were expected to participate in the forthcoming local council elections, have tendered letters of withdrawal to the National Electoral Commission (NEC.)
This was disclosed by the Chairperson NEC Madam Christiana Thorpe, while declaring yesterday June 9th 2008 as the official date for the start of campaign for the local council elections.
She confirmed that, since the end of nomination period her Commission has only received letters of withdrawal from 37 nominated candidates which she said was in line with the laid down procedures for nomination by her Commission.
She however warned that, withdrawals received after 25th May, 2008 would not be removed from the ballot papers as those were now in the stages of printing, adding that her commission might inform voters across the board of those withdrawals because any vote cast for such candidates would not be aggregated for results.
Nominations for the election she said, were conducted from the 12th to 25th April, 2008 following which, a list of candidates has been compiled by the commission’s data centre and forwarded to the Sierra Leone Government printing for publication.
The Commission she said, is at the second stage of updating the final register of electors for the 2008 local council elections. Following the collection of data from the field from 29th May to 4th June 2008, she said the data centre is now processing the returns. She explained that an estimated number of 200,000 new registrants and 100,000 transfer cases show that approximately 170,000 new and transferred registrants have been captured, representing 57% turnout.
She ended up calling on candidates and their supporters to strictly adhere to the code of campaign ethics to ensure a peaceful democratic process in Sierra Leone.
By Solomon Rogers