NEC to Print Voter ID Cards this Week - Sierraloaded News

Saturday, 23 September 2017

NEC to Print Voter ID Cards this Week



The National Electoral Commission (NEC) will commence the printing of voter ID cards this week, a senior official of Sierra Leone’s electoral body said on Friday.

The NEC Director of External Relations, Albert Massaquoi said the printing of the voter ID Cards and the final voter register are going to be done by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) outside the country, but did not name the country.

Massaquoi was speaking at the official launching of an OSIWA funded project which is titled: “Promoting Civic Participation in Democratisation Process through Entertainment.”

The project is going to be implemented by ActionAid International Sierra Leone (AAI-SL) in partnership with Reel 2 Real, an entertainment outfit formerly known as Body Guard Studio. The objective of the project is to promote civic participation in the 2018 residential, parliamentary and local council elections.

Massaquoi described the two documents as critical in ensuring free, fair and transparent elections.

He said that because of financial constraint, NEC is going to make available soft copies of the voter register to all political parties that will be contesting the March 7, 2018 elections, instead of the hard copies.

He disclosed that the critical side of the elections like printing of voter ID cards and voter register have been taken care of by the UNDP. He said the government of Sierra Leone is going to take care of logistics and staff salary, among others.

Speaking further, Massaquoi lauded efforts of OSIWA, AAI-SL and artists ,but cautioned against the type of messages they are going to put out for the elections. He said such messages should be consistent and factual.

The National Coordinator, Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), Valnora Edwin said people should be having healthy public debate on issues bordering on what aspirants are going to offer if elected. She said elections are attributes of democratic process wherein people can elect their leaders.

The Chief Executive Officer AAI-SL, Mohamed Sillah noted that the role of music in the 2007-2018 election was pivotal in ensuring free and fair elections. He said through the project artists will serve as civic ambassadors.

He said learning from the 2007 and 2012 elections, they will utilise the entertainment industry effectively to promote citizens engagement through the use of popular and credible Sierra Leoneans musicians.

The Acting Secretary General of Inter-Religious Council Sierra Leone, Rev. Fredick Moses Kanu said artists should be aware that election has the potential to enhance peace, human dignity and promote democracy, but in the same vein has the potential of making a country ungovernable. He noted that the type of songs artists are singing has the potential to derail the election process. He therefore called on them to pay attention on the content of their songs. “Songs are critical and emotional,” Rev. Kanu said.

Representative of the National Commission for Democracy (NCD), Rev. Gibrila Kargbo said it is quite important for young people and first time voters to get civil education. He said voting should be seen as a right and responsibility in a democratic dispensation. He pledged his Commission’s commitment in promoting civic participation in the democratisation process through entertainment.

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