The National Elections Watch (NEW) has recommended that the National Electoral Commission (NEC) stop using primary stakeholders’ premises as polling centers in future elections- “for the sake of free, fair and credible elections.” NEW made this recommendation in a press release issued on Monday 30th September 2019 while reporting on the just concluded Ward 242 bye election in Port Loko District, Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom. While commending NEC and other stakeholders for the peaceful conduct of polls last Saturday, NEW further recommended that the Sierra Leone Police and other security agencies need to be firm in terms of enforcing electoral laws by not allowing unaccredited persons within 400 meters of the polling zone. The release also recommended that during the rains, NEC should consider relocating centers from open spaces to proper and conducive locations within the same area, and that NEC personnel should be consistent with the procedures in delivering transparent and credible elections as reconciliation is a critical stage in the process.
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“NEW observed the entire process, including opening, polling, closing and counting, tallying and the announcement of results,” the release stated. NEW said they stationary observers in all the 11 Polling Centres on polling day with an additional two roving supervisors and an oversight team from the Secretariat to support the stationary observers and to respond promptly to incidents.
By Abdulrahman Koroma
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