National Grand Coalition (NGC) party has In a release dated 29th July, 2020 , said it is satisfied with the appointment of the new Chairman of the National Electoral Commission NEC , Mr. Mohamed Kenewui Konneh.
According to the release signed by the Party’s Chairman and Leader, Dr. Dennis Bright, the NGC noted that it had reviewed ‘’Sections 32(3), 32(4) (a) and (b), section 75, 76, 171 (3) and (4) of the 1991 constitution and that they found “no legal grounds upon which to oppose Mr. Konneh’s appointment.” However, said the party noted it had raised concerns beyond the ‘questions of legality.’
It described NEC as one of the institutions among a selected few with heavy responsibility to uphold the country’s ideals as a democratic nation which enables citizens to decide who shall rule the country for defined periods of time in a peaceful, orderly and efficient manner. Hence, it considers the NEC Chairperson/Chairman to have the “Capabilities, integrity and Impartiality” and must be “Impeccable and beyond reproach.”
The statement said the NGC was impressed thus far with Mr. Konneh’s professional experience which includes, Investigating and combating fraud and corrupt practices both national and International levels.
The NGC party noted that hoped that Mr. Konneh is aware of the extent to which his conduct and performance as Chairperson of NEC will reveal to the nation and to portray the true worth of those credentials.
It predicted that Elections will be a high stake in 2022/2023 which places an enormous amount of pressure on NEC and the Chairperson in Particular. It urged the new NEC boss to be strong, Independent and trusted, as his Personality will go a long way to protect the nation and to ensure forthcoming local, Bye and National elections strengthen peace, democracy and the rule of law in Sierra Leone.
“The cost of a poorly manage election with the hotly contested result will be extremely high for us as a nation and the damage possibly irreparable.” The statement said; and further requested that the 103 recommendations of the Election Observer Mission should be implemented for improvement to all aspects; urging all political Parties, especially Opposition parties to take collective responsibility for building an electoral system worthy of trust and respect.
The statement concluded by ‘’craving on the indulgence‘’ of those partners in Opposition who require free, fair, transparent, and violence-free elections to collaborate with setting up an Opposition Taskforce to monitor and ensure the effective implementation of the Observer recommendation with NEC.
“This platform should offer a far better chance of identifying and Preventing elections management problems than waiting until the eve or aftermath of elections when it may be too late to solve them” they suggested. They conclude by stating that their interests are clear and legitimate. “we want to see a level playing field that allows all political players to campaign and compete fairly and for citizens to express their choices freely without fear of violence, intimidations or retribution.” Adding that by stating that “Our Party solidly endorses the Position of our representatives in Parliament in speaking up for these values.” The party noted.