By: Mohamed Sannoh - Strategic Communications Unit - MIC
Thursday December 8, 2022- Youyi Building Bookfeilds Freetown
Senior officials of the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) have engaged the press at the weekly government press briefing hosted at the Ministry of Information and Communications, 8th floor at Youyi Building in Freetown, to bring them up to speed on the just concluded exhibition exercise which is considered a critical step in the electoral process.
Director of Operations at ECSL, Mr. Mohamed Turay said that just after the exercise, the Commission issued a press release which spoke to the contentions during the process, how they were addressed and the next action points. He said that the Commission wants to ensure that all due diligence is done and processes followed ahead of the June 2023 General Elections.
ECSL's Director of Media, Mr. Raymond George in his presentation, noted that the just concluded exhibition exercise which started on 24th November, 2022 and ended on the 28th November, 2022 (exhibition and inquiry period), is within the legal framework of Sierra Leone. Mr. George said that it was the responsibility of ECSL to display the voter registration data, adding that it was standard best practice, the world over. He made reference to the Public Elections Act of 2022 which gave the Commission a period of 40 days to publish such data. He said that all data were displayed in specific registration centres, and expounded on the law that spoke to displaying the list, which he said they followed. He said that people needed to verify their details in order to ascertain accuracy of information, adding, however that in an instance where the address is not correct, such rectification was to be made. Mr. George said that no phone numbers were asked for because of the complexities involved.
The ECSL Media Director furthered that there was also room for cases of suspected ineligibility and or double publication of names, which he said people had the opportunity to rectify. He said that people whose names were not published should not be worried, and that the aim of the exhibition was for errors to be identified and corrected. He said that the provisional lists that had relevant information are open for public scrutiny, adding that all corrections would be done in due course. He delved into the details saying that 447 wards were opened across the country, and that there were 3630 exhibition officers. He said that each ward also had an enquiry centre, and that officers were also employed to address inquiries. Mr. George said that names that were not found or missing was as a result of technical errors but that they would be addressed. He emphasized that the law states that both the inquiry and exhibition should last for two weeks. He spoke on how ECSL is also working on transmitting certain data especially for missing photos. He appealed that everyone should confirm his or details before the process is brought to a final close.
The ECSL Media Director said that people that could not do their verifications should worry less and that a web portal is currently being worked on where one could check for him or herself and for others. Mr. George disclosed that a mobile app is currently in circulation which could work on all standard phones through which checks can be made.