The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has issued a letter expressing concern over the National Electoral Commission (NEC) for the local government election process.
Two issues were raised in the party’s letter of concern: first is the deadline for political parties to submit the list of approved candidates and second, is the update of the voter’s register.
With regards to the first issue ‘deadline for political parties to submit the list of approved candidates,’ the letter states that “NEC laid the ward boundary delimitation for 2008 local government election document on the well of parliament on the 11th March, 2008 as a statutory instrument.” According to the 1991 constitution, the letter highlighted, “Section 170 (6and7) of the constitution of Sierra Leone Act 2002 section 1(1)3(2) of the constitutional and Statutory Instrument Act No 2 (6) of 1999, this document will become law if after 21 days there is no objection.”
The letter pointed out that “the Hon. Dr Brimah M Kamanda had moved a private member motion, seconded by Hon. Momoh Pujeh inviting the House to reject the document and request NEC to hold consultations at local authority levels with stakeholders in preparing a new ward boundary delimitation.”
Parliament according to the letter, “is to debate the motion on the 8th April 2008, the same day on which the 21 days required for the NEC document to become law expires.” “The new date is the deadline for the submission of the list of candidates by the political parties to NEC,” the letter states pointing out that “until the document is passed into law it will be unconstitutional and illegal to proceed with or accept any nomination by candidates.”
The letter also highlighted that the candidates nomination process and objections and decisions on objection scheduled for 12th and 25th April will certainly deny a candidate who wishes to register to contest the local council elections from being nominated as he or she will not comply with Section 1 (b) of the Local Government Act, 2004 which provides that “a person qualifies to be elected to a local council if the person is on the register of electors and is ordinarily resident in the ward in which he seeks elections.”
By Ophaniel Gooding