Head of Media and External Relations, National Electoral Commission (NEC), Albert Massaquoi, told Reporters on Wednesday that ballot papers for the run-off election are expected to arrive Thursday, at the Lungi International Airport.
Massaquoi was speaking in a one day Inter-news Round Table meeting at Hill Valley Hotel, in the capital Freetown. He said the two political parties would inspect the materials at the airport and abreast with details before the materials are transported to the NEC district offices across the country. He said all the serial numbers in the packs of ballot papers and elections materials are to be documented at the airport.
Regarding the role of the police in handling the voting materials, Mr. Massaquoi said the latter are not going to be in charge of electoral materials. However, the police would provide security as the case may be.
“Like for the issue of ballot boxes, after elections, the RRFs and the MTF that are the most sensible materials would be taken as quickly as possible to our Tally Centres. We have over 22,000 ballot boxes all over the country,” he said, adding that their staff would go round to collect ballot boxes a day after the poll.
He noted that certain sections of the society have been harassing their staff out of ignorance.
The NEC media boss said ballot boxes have nothing to do with the electoral process after counting ends, even if they were packed anywhere. He affirmed that: “We conducted very credible elections as far as we are concerned, and we are proud as a commission,” he stated.
He urged journalists to serve as bulwark in the electoral processes and report correctly on electoral issues, as he mentioned the fact that a cross section of the media has been reporting news contrary to ethics of the profession.