The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Members of Parliament (MP) have challenged the National Electoral Commission (NEC) over the recent boundary delimitation.
Speaking to journalists yesterday at a press conference, Hon Dr Bernadette Lahai explained the discrepancies in the boundary delimitation document presented by NEC to parliament.
Dr Lahai said NEC laid the ward boundary delimitation for the 2008 local council elections in parliament on March 10,2008 as a statutory instrument, but a private member motion was moved by Hon Dr Brima Kamanda of SLPP which was seconded by Hon Momoh Pujeh rejecting the document and requesting NEC to hold consultations at local authority levels with stakeholders.
Parliament debated the delimitation document on 8th April, the same day that the 21 days expired as well as the deadline for the submission of the list of candidates by political parties to NEC.
Dr Lahai reacted that “NEC should bear in mind that until the document is passed in to law, we strongly believe that it will be unconstitutional and illegal to proceed with or accept any nomination by candidates”
The SLPP MPs recommended that candidate nominations process and objections schedule for 12-25 April should take place after the update of the voter register to give opportunity to those whose names were not on the register.
Dr Bernadette Lahai said NEC conducted the whole process without the benefit of stakeholder consultation which would have ensured ownership of the process and commitment of time and resources.
She also stated that due consideration was not taken in relation to the difference in geography, terrain, socio economic facilities rather, population was considered.
Dr Bernadette Lahai argued that there was wide disparity in population quota for the localities as it may disproportionately affect the distribution of national resources since larger areas will attract more pressure than smaller areas in such distribution.
Hon Emmanuel W. Tommy and Hon Nyuma expressed that the boundary delimitation document should be debated devoid of party politics and from a nationalistic point of view.