The Director of Media and External Relation who also doubles as the spokesperson of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Albert Massaquoi has said that with the Provisional Census result out the Commission will go ahead with the Boundary Delimitation process which they had started.
In an interview with Awoko on Tuesday, Massaquoi disclosed that the Constitution authorizes Statistics Sierra Leone to provide census data for NEC for the Commission to be able to use for the conduct of Boundary Delimitation for Constituencies and Wards, and that even before the official release of the result, NEC has been working on the delimitation of boundaries.
The NEC Spokesperson further stated that NEC and Statistics Sierra Leone sat together at the policy level and drew the timeline which they factored into the NEC strategic plan and therefore they are aware of the fact that by “the end of March the provisional figures would have been out and this is what we will use for the Boundary delimitation”.
Albert Massaquoi further informed this medium that NEC has been doing preliminary work on the Boundary Delimitation as Statistics has trained NEC staff on constituency and ward boundary delimitation and also the developing of the maps and that this was done for national but training will also be done for staff in the districts.
He added that NEC has also formed the Boundary Delimitation Monitoring Committee for the national level and within the next couple of weeks they will do the same for the districts, stating that the whole Boundary Delimitation process will be a back and forth process as this will involve lot of engagement and consultations with stakeholders at District, Constituencies and Ward levels.
Questioned as to the number of constituencies and wards to be delimited, the External Relations Director said there are certain factors they take into consideration when delimiting boundaries and these includes population which is the prime factor, geographical locations and means of communication, and data for the Boundary Delimitation is provided by Statistics Sierra Leone. He further disclosed that for the number of constituencies, this will be determined by parliament as that “is Parliamentary prescription”.
He said people may have concerns or issues but, however NEC has the mandate to conduct elections and Boundary Delimitation is part of the process therefore they will have to proceed with the process that has already began.
He said elections administration encourages participation and acceptance by majority and that there is need to accept institutions and channel concerns to the relevant authorities.
The Provisional Census Result was released past Thursday and two days after the release, the main opposition Sierra Leone people’s Party (SLPP) rejected the result, stating it has in accuracies and flaws but other opposition parties such as Alliance Democratic Party (ADP) and the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) accepted the result.