Sierra-Leone electoral commission calls for patience, says accuracy over speed

Chairman of Sierra Leone's National Electoral Commission (NEC), Mohamed Conteh briefs journalists at the collation centre for the presidential and parliamentary elections of 7th March

Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) on Thursday issued an official statement stressing that ‘Data entry is underway and accuracy will take precedence over speed.’

The NEC statement of March 8, 2018; signed by Chairman Mohamed N’fah Alie-Conteh also reiterated that it was the constitutionally mandated body that is responsible to deliver election results and is the only authority in doing so.

The electoral body called for patience and continued commitment to peace as it continued to receive results and tabulate them.

Meanwhile, an observer group is projecting that the presidential vote is likely to enter a run-off. According to the National Elections Watch (NEW), figures from their Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT) process shows that none of the 16 candidates will get the 55% needed for an outright win.

In some major updates on the process, two opposition parties, the Coalition for Change (C4C) and National Grande Coalition (NGC) have raised concerns over the process saying their representatives had been evicted from voting centers during counting.

An attempt to search offices of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) raised tensions as police and supporters clashed. The situation was calmed by head of Commonwealth Observer Mission and ex-President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama.