The National Returning Officer Christiana Thorpe of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) yesterday at the SLBS officially declared 394 Ward winners for the 5th July 2008 Local Council Election.
She disclosed that out of the 1,056,440 registered voters across the country 994,524 votes were valid votes while 61,916 were invalid votes and 100% polling stations reported to the commission with their results.
The NEC result indicates that the ruling All Peoples Congress Party won 18 Chairperson and Mayoral seats, Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) 8, Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) 1 seat, while independent candidates were unsuccessful in their bid to win a single seat at various Councils in the country.
APC won 253 seats while SLPP won 18, PMDC 16, while NDA was unsuccessful to win a single seat at national level, the total percentage of 81.1% male took part in the election as against 18.9 % female candidates.
NEC Commissioner Christiana Thorpe disclosed that 14 polling stations were invalidated during the course of the tallying of results, for the Local Council Election with over 100% turn out, which cannot occur without excess ballots being stuffed into ballot boxes. Christiana Thorpe noted that, this could only happen with the connivance of the polling staff working in that station, but she however disclosed that, the invalidation of votes by the commission did not change the overall result in question.
Bombali, Kono and Koinadugu District recorded the highest number of complaints on vote rigging, ballot stuffing and intimidation that marred the electoral process on Polling and after polling on July 5, 2008.
She noted that, the commission is determined to ensure that, electoral fraud is part of the political past of Sierra Leone, and all modalities will be worked out for the perpetrators of any electoral malpractice to be handed over to the relevant authorities for proper investigations and would be culprits will be severely punished according to the electoral laws of Sierra Leone. Earlier yesterday the Western Region Commissioner of NEC Hannah Kawaley announced preliminary results for the remaining 13 wards for the total of 69 wards as well as the results from the Freetown City Council and the Chairperson for Western Rural.
Concluding Christiana Thorpe expressed thanks and appreciation to the government and the International Community for their technical and financial support, giving to the National Electoral Commission for the conduct of elections in the country and wished all councilors, Chairperson or mayors success in their various councils. By Saidu Bah