One of the aspirants in the just concluded Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) election for symbol at constituency 106- Central I, Abdul Tejan-Sie is alleging that “the [Central I] election was characterized by procedural improprieties.”
Displeased Tejan-Sie accentuated that paragraph 2(n) of their rules provided that to be declared a winner, candidate must secure 50% of the vote cast.
Mr Tejan-Sie claimed that out of the 17 zones created “approximately nine of them are outside the National Electoral Commission (NEC) boundary of constituency 106 –Central I.”
Highlighting the zones which he described as illicit in his constituency are “zones 12, 13 and 14 constitute tree planting,” noting that each zone was composed of 10 delegates.
The other zones which, Mr Tejan-Sie highlighted, were 7, 11 and 13 which represent the Leicester Community, zones 10- Sorie Town and zones 16 and 17 which comprise Susan’s Bay.
He averred that the above named areas fell within constituency 92 “which is the Western Area Rural District”, but hastened to say that the later zones which he mentioned earlier which are zones 16 and 17 fell under Susan’s Bay.
As for zone 10, he pointed out frustratingly, “they were disqualified during the elections because the zone has already voted in another primary election.”
Summoning up his contention with regards to the procedural impropriety in the SLPP Central I primary election, Mr Tejan-Sie alleged that, “…therefore [one can fittingly suffice] that the constituents of Central I were disenfranchised from electing a SLPP candidate of their choice.”
He stated that, “the chairman of Constituency 106, F.A.S Walker is a disappointment to the people of the constituency,” adding that the chairman was “the brainchild behind the manipulation of the primary election.”
Mr Tejan-Sie stated further that, “people have lost confidence in the entire executive… and Walker must go!”
He maintained that, “if there is a run off, the constituents are demanding that the entire Electoral College be restructured.”
Another reason which Mr Tejan-Sie raised in his petition for the restructuring of the Electoral College was that the declared winner, Michael Charlie Hinga with 73 votes was only able to secure 44% of the votes cast.
It was then incumbent, he said, upon the electoral officers in consultation with the district executive to have ordered a rerun for a second ballot in compliance with the rules.
Mr Tejan-Sie heightened that the glaring anomaly in no small measure undermined the spirit of and respect for the stipulated rules.
Knowing SLPP as the bastion of democratic values, he continued, it [should] not be seen to tolerate or condone such infringements of the rules.”
“Furthermore to compound the anomalies, it was declared that not only elected zonal executive members were eligible to vote,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the much anticipated and overdue constituency 107 – Central II elections for symbol has been deferred to an unknown date.
The SLPP Central District Chairman, Alex Rogers explained that the reason of the postponement was that “…there were obstructions here and there in the electoral process which warranted the postponement.”
This obstacle, he continued, “even reached to an extent where our leader [Vice President Solomon Berewa] had to intervene, by calling on the aspirants and have a chat with them.”
The last impediment, the Central District Chairman averred, “was a protest by one of the aspirants Hon. Victor Reider, who claimed that the election [Central II] was fraudulent, and then walked out of the hall.”
Nonetheless, he stressed, “the regional secretariat has met and we have rescheduled the five remaining zones.”
Mr Rogers disclosed that the election for the award of symbol for constituency 107 would hopefully commenced next week [this week].