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    Posted November 19, 2012 by
    rlaverley
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Assignment
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    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Your stories

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    Massive voter fraud in Sierra Leone 2012 elections

     
    Over two million people turned out to vote last Saturday, 17 November, in Sierra Leone’s third election since the declaration of peace, after a long and brutal civil war, which took the lives of over 50,000 civilians, living hundreds of thousands with mental and physical scars.
    The peace-building process has been costly, long and tortuous, with the international community investing hundreds of millions of dollars. The democratization of Sierra Leone has played a key role in empowering communities and consolidating the peace.
    Will the outcome of last Saturday’s elections, continue to cement the peace in Sierra Leone or will the country remain as divided as it was prior to the war?
    The Chairman of the NEC – Christiana Thorpe, who had received a massive pay rise from president Koroma a few months ago, is now being accused of presiding over massive vote rigging and other electoral irregularities across the capital Freetown, Kono and northern districts – the president’s power-base.
    Senior officials of the opposition SLPP party, say that they will not accept the results, given the level of vote rigging and other irregularities that were witnessed and have been partly confirmed by the NEC itself.
    The party’s presidential candidate – Brig Gen (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio, who was widely expected to win the election and held a massive rally in Freetown on Thursday the 15th of November with 50,000 supporters according to the international press. He has issued a statement on November 18th about widespread voter fraud which the Chairman of the national Electoral Commission (NEC), Madam Christian (sic) Thorpe in her latest admitted to disruption of polling in some parts of the Western Area.
    He has vital information to substantiate a number of incidents such as blatant ballot stuffing in several centers, especially in the Northern Region, Kono and Freetown with full complicity of NEC staff in most of these cases, at the time of counting the ballots, security officers at the polling station drove our agents and prevented them from observing the process and collating results.
    The international election observers and local election watch organizations, will need to intervene to ensure an independent and credible investigation into all allegations of malpractice, is quickly and thoroughly implemented.
    Sierra Leone cannot afford a breakdown in law and order, nor does it need to see the return of political violence and chaos, since the end of the war in 2001.
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