During the Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party (SLPP) press briefing past Thursday, the Chairman of the Party John Benjamin said they have received a letter from President Koroma informing them of his desire to re-appoint Christiana Thorpe as National Election Commissioner (NEC).
The chairman said they have made their position clear by a letter sent to him and they are saying whether they want her or not it is left with the President as he believes that the President has already made up his mind to do it as he did with the NEC Commissioner they appointed in the East.
The letter sent to SLPP read thus: Pursuant to Section 32 sub-section 7 (a) of the Constitution, the President in a letter dated April 22, 2010, expressed an intention to re-appoint Dr. Christiana Thorpe as Chairperson of NEC after consultations with leaders of all Political Parties. In that same letter, we were invited to a meeting on April 26, 2010 with HE President Koroma to consult on this matter. The meeting did not take place. We received another letter dated May, 2010 requesting our views in writing on this issue. On Tuesday May 25, we expressed our views to HE President Koroma on the issue.
Mr John Benjamin recalled that after the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) expressed dissatisfaction with the cancellation of 477 polling stations mostly from our strongholds in contravention of section 78 of the Electoral Laws Act 2002. This matter was taken to Court and is now currently on appeal to the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone.
He also recalled that in the case of the nomination of Stephen Aiah Mattia as Electoral Commissioner; we did express our concerns in writing in a letter. “The President, failed to revert to us on this matter, rather, he went ahead and placed the nomination before Parliament for approval. Although SLPP Members of Parliament in the Appointment Committee refused to participate in the deliberations, Parliament went ahead to approve the nomination. This we strongly believe that the Consultative process in that case was incomplete”.
Given the aforementioned reasons, the SLPP finds it inconsistent and amoral to accept the re-appointment of Ms Christiana Thorpe as Chief Electoral Commissioner.
Mr John Benjamin the cancellation of the Kailahun disenfranchisement was illegal because according to the Constitution, after results have been counted, signed by Polling Agents, Party Agents, Returning Officers and the District Commissioner, the NEC Commissioner has no power over the results, only the court of law has that power to cancel such result. He said this is the Constitution and many people will think otherwise, but he believes that one day posterity will judge all of us in the country.