News / Africa

    Sierra Leone Electoral Commission ‘Ready’ for Poll

    Sierra Leonean woman votes (Photo: Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission) Sierra Leonean woman votes (Photo: Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission)
    x
    Sierra Leonean woman votes (Photo: Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission)
    Sierra Leonean woman votes (Photo: Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission)
    Peter Clottey
    The spokesman for Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission says the electoral body has taken new measures to ensure Saturday’s general election is transparent and credible.

    “The commission is poised to conducting credible elections. In that vein, the commission is undertaking series of activities,” said commission spokesman Albert Massaquoi. “At the moment the commission has recruited over 70,000 staff and training is underway for [the] staff at different levels all over the country.”

    Massaquoi says the Electoral Commission worked closely with all political parties as well as the police to prevent any violence during the vote.

    His comments came after some Sierra Leoneans expressed concern that political party activities in the run-up to the election could create tension and violence.

    “As a result of experiences of past elections, the commission in collaboration with these parties and the Sierra Leone police, has actually drawn [up] a polling day activity where vehicular movement activities would be restricted. So that people can vote within their wards in their communities and go home early,” said Massaquoi.

    Massaquoi said the electoral body has already begun distributing polling station materials throughout the country in preparation for the balloting. He said the commission also has taken measures to speed up the announcement of election results.

    “It took quite a long period of time for the commission to announce election results [in the past]. But, this time around for the 2012 elections, results are going to be announced at regional level,” said Massaquoi.

    “Regional coalition centers have been set up in four regional capitals,” said Massaquoi. “The results at local levels, regional levels and at district levels would be announced no sooner than [when] the polls are closed. So, in a couple of days we would expect to have all of the results finalized and announced, which would be the final results.”

    The U.S.-based Carter Center is monitoring the election in Sierra Leone and has expressed concern about a number of developments that it said may undermine public confidence in the balloting.

    Gregory Houel, the Sierra Leone country director for the Carter Center, said one such area of concern is what he described as inadequate voter education, mainly at the local level.

    But, Massaquoi says the electoral body has taken steps to address that.

    “The commission did address these concerns and the commission came out with certain strategies. One of these is the use of the WEEKS, Ward Electoral Education Committee. The members go out and about doing some amount of electoral education and of course the commission has also been using the traditional forms of media,” said Massaquoi.

    Clottey interview with Albert Massaquoi, Sierra Leone electoral official
    Clottey interview with Albert Massaquoi, Sierra Leone electoral official i
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: WOBUSOBOZI MAJARA ERASMUS from: KABALE, UGANDA
    November 15, 2012 1:13 AM
    In order for free and fair elections in Africa, our leaders should stop looking at themselves as the only visionary people, but rather assume that some other people also possess these visions. Speaking Africa. God bless

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora