Announcing the winners for the just concluded bye-elections the Chief Electoral Commissioner Dr. Christiana Thorpe has said there was very low voter turnout especially in constituency 106.
She declared that the SLPP candidate for constituency 87, Pujehun district, Ansumana Jaia Kai Kai won the Parliamentary bye- election with 5,031 votes defeating the APC candidate, John Kai Kai who polled 2,032 and the PMDC candidate Kemoh Emurana Sowa polling 1,984 votes.
For constituency 106 Freetown Urban, the Chief Electoral Commissioner declared the APC candidate, Manley Spaine polling 2,906 votes beating his opponent, Issa Kolleh of SLPP who polled 1,484 the PMDC and NDA candidates polled 256 and 34 votes respectively.
The commissioner further explained that a total of seven candidates contested the elections and that 108 polling station results were received, 47 from constituency 87 and 61 from constituency 106. She said the voter turn out for constituency 87 was 45.9% whilst that for constituency 106 was 15.4% representing 30.6% of the total voter turnout.
Again, the commissioner revealed that 9,047 valid votes for constituency 87 in Pujehun District and 4,680 for constituency 106 in Western Area Urban which gave a combined total of 13,727.
There were 488 invalid votes for constituency 87 and 123 invalid votes cast for constituency106 giving a combined total of 611 representing 4% of total votes cast.
Responding to questions of low voter turnout and how to address it, the Chief Electoral Commissioner said measures of voter education and civic education should be used to address future low election turnout. The Electoral Commissioner for Western Area Urban Hannah Kewullay said she was very worried on polling day because of the low voter turnout despite NEC’s voter education.
She too recommended that more emphasis should be placed on civic education for future elections.
By Ishmael Bayoh