The Western Area Commissioner for the National Electoral Commission, Mrs Daphne Olu-Williams, has intimated that “at the moment, commissioners and some members of staff are being intimidated and subjected to threats.”
She made this disclosure yesterday at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) hall, Brookfields in Freetown, when the Commissioner convened civil society members, political party agents, community leaders and all other stakeholders in the election process to a meeting to discus post-August 11 elections and the preparation for the September 8 run off.
She pleaded that, “as referees in the political contest, we urge fellow Sierra Leoneans to allow us to carry out our duty with utmost neutrality and without fear or favor.”
Mrs Olu-Williams also said the meeting was convened “to highlight lapses and to make right the wrongs of the August 11 polls”.
She pointed out that, “our aim is to attain a higher level of efficiency.”
The meeting was also primarily convened to address the issue of invalid votes.
The Western Area Commissioner revealed that the region had a total of 21,728 invalid votes out of a total of 3888,841 votes cast and that in the Western Rural District; the total number of invalid votes was 6,587 out of a total of 85,184 votes cast.
She also averred that although the total percentage for invalid votes for the whole country was 7.7% which fell below the ceiling of 15%, the internationally acceptable percentage of void votes for a post-conflict country, yet the people of Sierra Leone felt that since the votes represented the voters’ voice, it would be appreciated if each voter’s intention was actualized, and void votes to its barest minimum.
The Western Urban Commissioner appealed to both leaders of the APC and SLPP to plan, organize, lead and control the activities and behaviour of their supporters.