Presidential run-off: Don’t intimidate us, Sierra Leone NEC warns Police

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Mohammed Conteh, Head of the Sierra Leone Electoral Commission
Mohammed Conteh, Head of the Sierra Leone Electoral Commission

By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has warned the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) to refrain from actions that may obstruct electoral activities.

NEC Chairman, Mohamed Conteh who made the call in a statement in Freetown, urged the SLP not to  intimidate electoral staff, as preparations for presidential run off election continue.

Conteh said that as the body charged with the responsibility to conduct all public elections, the NEC was committed to organising a credible run off on March 27.

He added that NEC was currently engaged in preparing for a credible and efficient conduct of the run off election in all district electoral offices and regional tally centres.

Conteh, however expressed worry over recent actions of the SLP, especially on the intimidation of the commission’s staff members.

“Acknowledging the role of the Sierra Leone Police in ensuring electoral security, the NEC has routinely cooperated with the SLP as a working partner opening its doors, providing information and availing its staff.

“In recent days, however, the SLP entered NEC premises, unannounced and at random, interrogated NEC staff; and obstructed them from performing their duties.

“In addition to delaying the time, sensitive work that is critical to the conduct of the Presidential run-off election, the unsystematic and confrontational nature of these visits, has sewed to intimidate some staff.

“The NEC is committed to conducting electoral activities according to law and upholding the Constitutional and Human Rights of citizens, including its own staff.

“To this end, the NEC expresses its continued willingness to cooperate with the SLP.

“The NEC wants to remind the SLP that the Commission is the sole electoral management body charged with the conduct of public elections in Sierra Leone.

“SLP should refrain from actions that may obstruct electoral activities, apparent intimidation of our electoral staff or undermine the credibility and independence of the electoral process in any way.”


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