In Sierra Leone: Political parties, NEC, reach agreement

(Patriotic Vanguard)  – Two leading Sierra Leonean political parties, the SLPP and the APC, and the National Electoral Commssion reached an agreement Monday morning on how to proceed with the tallying of election results.

The tallying process itself has resumed after it was halted Sunday afternoon because of a disagreement between NEC and the two parties.

Monday’s agreement was reached at a meeting between NEC and the two parties held at Freetown’s Bintumani Hotel. Both parties and NEC later signed the agreement including the mediators.

The ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) and the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) faced each other in a run-off election last Saturday whose votes are being tallied.

The NEC, in a press release states that it was agreed by both parties that:

– The Reconciliation and Results Forms (RRFs) which are by law the basic documents for tallying of election results will be entered first into the NEC existing Tally 2018 system up to and including the Archive stage.

– The NEC will implement a further process in the Regional Tally Centres where polling station results will be data entered into an excel spreadsheet by NEC staff using a stand-alone computer.

– If there is any discrepancy revealed between the excel summation and the District Results from the Tally 2018 system, the Tally 2018 figures will take precedence and will be used by NEC in the compilation of final election results.

– The NEC’s election results process is ongoing and both political parties agree not to undermine or disrupt the results process and to allow it to expeditiously move to its conclusion.

The mediation team that helped to reach this agreement was headed by former president John Mahama of Ghana who represented the Commonwealth Observer Group.

Other members of the team are Kgamela Motlanthe, head of the African Union’s Electoral Observation Mission and Dr. Amos Sawyer, head of the ECOWAS Electoral Observation Mission.

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