The chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Dr Christiana Thorpe, yesterday officially announced at NEC’s headquarters at Kissy that Monday 9th June,2008 to Thursday 3rd July 2008 as the period during which political parties and independent candidates contesting the July 5th 2008 local council elections might campaign.
The announcement which she said was in line with section 119 subsection 1 of the electoral laws Act, 2002 required every political party and independent candidate to engage political parties registration commission , the Sierra Leone Police and the National Electoral Commission officials to draw up their campaign time tables.
She entreated all contestants, supporters and the general public to be law abiding and to ensure that election campaigns would be free of violence and disruptions.
Dr Thorpe concluded that ballot preparation was on course and that the commission would no allow anyone seeking to withdraw his or her candidacy after the stipulated deadline of May,25th 2008.
In giving the statistical rundown of local council nomination up dates, NEC director of Operations N’faf Conteh said 1,380 candidates including the independent candidates have so far been nominated. 1,218 candidates for counselors at ward level and 62 candidates for mayor or chairmanship.
At party level, he explained, APC had: 471 candidates, SLPP: 387, PMDC: 272, NDA: 5, Independent: 245 with a grand total of 1380 candidates. On a gender a breakdown by party affiliation ,he went on, APC had 87 female and 384 male candidates; SLPP had 60 female and 327 male candidates, PMDC had 49 female and 223 male candidates, Independent has 34 female and 211 male candidates and NDA has 49 female 223 male candidates. He confirmed that 27 wards remained uncontestable because the numbers of candidates were equivalent to the number of seats in those wards.
By Solomon Rogers