Dr. Christiana Thorpe NEC Boss
The Chief Electoral Commissioner Dr Christiana Thorpe yesterday Tuesday announced the official start of Campaigning by all Political Parties for the August 11th 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
She also disclosed that after nominations which closed Saturday, 7 candidates – all males – will stand as Presidential candidates and a total of 572 candidates will stand for the Parliamentary elections of which 515 are male and 64 females.
Madame Thorpe also disclosed that 11 aspirants will be standing as independent candidates for parliament.
The NEC Chief agreed that the phase of campaigning may be more politically sensitive and explosive if not done within the rule of law.
She warned all political parties to ensure that they keep the peace and comply with the electoral laws, regulations and the Code of Conduct for Political parties (which includes the ethics of election campaigning) for the conduct of a free, fair, transparent and credible elections.
Dr Thorpe assured all that they will do everything possible within the legal framework and the rule of law to ensure that the 11th August Presidential and Parliamentary elections will be transparent and credible.
Assistant Inspector General of Police, Richard Moigbeh who represented the Inspector General of Police assured all that the Police will ensure that campaigning and the elections will be non violent.
He appealed to Political parties to cooperate with the Police because they will be very polite, but at the same time deal firmly with any Sierra Leonean who flouts the electoral laws and principles irrespective of what political parties they are in.
All the Political parties have precisely a month to sell their manifestoes to Sierra Leoneans before the August 11 elections given that the campaign period is set to end by August 9th.