Leader of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), Charles Margai, at a press conference held on Saturday at the party’s Freetown headquarters raised concerns about the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the police and judiciary.
This particular election, the leader said, “is a make or break situation and by the grace of the Almighty it will be the former,” adding that the success of this election lay on the shoulders of the police and NEC.
On the issue of security Mr Margai said, “I am very much disappointed in the Inspector General (IG) of Police as we march towards the elections.”
He revealed that often on radio, the IG kept on saying the police should stay neutral and that he had no doubt in his mind that 98% of the police would want to stay neutral but the partiality of the IG and few of his senior officers “is what I have doubt over.”
“The IG and these officers should know that their loyalty is not to a party or an individual but to the nation and we shall hold them accountable and responsible for anything that goes wrong in the conduct of this election when it comes to security matter,” Mr Margai said.
On the issue of NEC, the PMDC leader said they had written series of letters to the Commission, and copied the international community, about certain irregularities. But they were told by the international community that Sierra Leone was a sovereign state.
“But what is of concern is that the international community has poured lots of money into this country and therefore they should ensure that the election is conducted in a free and fair manner,” he maintained.
About the letter sent to the Commission, he revealed that the concerns raised included multiple registrations of voters, nocturnal registrations, violence perpetrated by senior members of the ruling party among others.
Mr Margai averred that the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Dr Christiana Thorpe, often had to confer with President Kabbah but noted that they had no problem with that.
“Our concern is when such conferment is done with the Vice President who himself is an aspirant, there can be no justification for that.
We all have to be very careful, the people of this country are sensitive, and they want to ensure that their constitutional rights to determine who leads them are not transgressed,” the PMDC leader warned.
Concerning the judgment of the Supreme Court on the eligibility of Vice President Solomon Berewa to contest the August election, Mr Margai fired some salvos: “this is the first time in the history of the country that the judiciary has gone so low in the interpretation of the law.”
He stressed that one of the woes in the country was the lack of an impartial judiciary