By Alpha Good Kamara
The Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone has disclosed that contested Political Parties have received the 2023 Voter Register from ECSL at the National Warehouse at Wellington on the 8th June 2023.
According to the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed Konneh, it was just a matter of time but as an institution they were sure that they will release the voter register as required and normally done in past elections.
“We gave the names and photos (of voters) to political parties to print,” Konneh revealed at a meeting with political parties, election observers and the media at Tower Hill in Freetown.
The Commissioner also revealed that ballot papers are currently being printed and will be ready in due time against the 24th June, 2023.
“All political parties will be present when we receive them at the airport before we dispatch them to the various regions,” he said.
Konneh informed political parties that the Commission is transparent and will continue to dialogue with them. He also spoke about their sacrifices while assuring of their commitment to conduct transparent elections.
Konneh said ECSL has allayed the fears of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), Dr. Richard Conteh and Party National Secretary General, Lansana Dumbuya, who before the release were still concerned with the voter list saying that it should be presented to political parties. Their concern was that the issued list must be the same with the one being used by ECSL staff on polling day.
The ECSL’s Director of Voter and Data Roll, Henry Jusufu Swaray stated that the reason why ECSL would not issue the same voter that ECSL has to political parties is to protect data of voters. He informed the gathering that their list has personal information of voters that could expose them to possible post-election danger.
“We have never shared the same voter list with political parties,” Swaray said.
He added that this current practice has been the norm in previous elections held in 2012 and 2018.