An urgent call for action on National Electoral Commission (NEC) webpage
Sierra Leone barely has 11 months to the polls unveiling 17th November 2012 as national elections day. Dearth with, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) chaired by Dr Christiana Thorpe has proposed many changes from voter’s registration through to voting exercise. Changes believed to be highly effective in electioneering processes. Salone Elections Watch (SEW – a newly found organisation with the umbrella name Centre for Civic Education) observes the importance of voters’ awareness as well as rigorous information sharing exercises by all stakeholders. In conglomeration with other electoral processes, the NEC’s website is expected to serve as a hub for voters and international partners in garnering information on the forthcoming Elections.
SEW an organisation that prides itself on observing and monitoring that Sierra Leone’s elections are carried out effectively, and in that is drawing attention to the online status of NEC’s website – the site http://www.nec-sierraleone.org/Results.htm currently hosting 2008 elections process and voting information but no mentioning of the forthcoming 17 November 2012 elections and or information about the recent changes on biometric registration expected to take effect in less than a week. SEW in its capacity as a Civic Education Centre with advent interest in seeking to sensitise citizens about the elections of 2012 and thereafter, is hereby highlighting the correlation of voter turnout on Election Day and accurate information delivery prior to Election Day. An account of SEW’s effort in its observer role is strongly recommending that the NEC website bears accurate information that will enable voters to fully participate come the 17th November 2012. That with other fervent issues: registration exercise, political campaigns and the adherence to elections laws by all actors remains SEW’s business to date.
For the same apparent reasons, SEW will engage itself on diverse issues including women’s participation in politics; easy access voting for the disabled, visually impaired, pregnant women and promoting credible elections to increase public confidence in Sierra Leones’s democracy. SEW is hastening NEC to maintain a well balanced information sharing to enable citizens to fully exercise their franchise; furtherance to that SEW hopes observation will broaden on the estimated 1.1 million Sierra Leoneans abroad whom in their citizenry role will be eager to relay information home to families and friends and feel actively engaged without prejudice.
In that regard, SEW has gone a step up to engage with Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad and has therefore collaborated with the online Sierra Leonean community via various social networking groups in discussing issues relation to the forthcoming elections. Collectively with our online participants, this press release is urging that the NEC maintain a regular update of its activities on matters relating to elections as well as a continual process on adequate information sharing prior to the forthcoming election and thereafter.
SEW with its aims and objectives will aim to serve as an adjudicator for voters and fairer voting processes. By committing to provide information to the growing online community it has built, it is in SEW’s hope that NEC will provide the relevant information on a partnership mode to achieve the aims and objectives of a free, fair, and peaceful election for 2012.
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