According to the National Electoral Commission (NEC’s) 2018 National Elections Electoral Calendar, which published electoral dates and activities for the forthcoming presidential, parliamentary, paramount chief members of parliament, local councils and village head elections, a whole month, 4th February to 5th March 2018 has been slated as campaigns period for the elections.
Furthermore, Section 148(1) of the Public Elections Act (PEA) of 2012 states: “The Electoral Commission shall, after the closure of nominations and after consultation with registered political parties and candidates contesting elections, determine and declare by Government Notices the period when campaigning by candidates and political parties may begin and end”.
APC, SLPP, NGC and ADP have out rightly violated the NEC elections calendar and PEA by commencing public campaigns without waiting for NEC’s stipulated campaigns date declarations.
In addition, Part XIV Section 149(3) (Election Campaign Record) of the PEA states: “No person shall post banners, posters, placards, drawings, billboards or other similar material on public buildings, national monuments, religious institutions or on any private property unless the owner of that property gives his consent”.
Go to roundabouts across the country including Lumley, Congo Cross, PZ, Saint John, East end Police and Aberdeen among other roundabouts and see banners, posters, placards, drawings, billboards or other similar materials of SLPP’s Maada Bio, APC’s Samura Kamara, ADP’s Kamarainba and NGC’s Yumkella pasted on public buildings, national monuments, religious institutions and private properties.
The most unfortunate side of this ugly development is the continued total silence (mumu) of President Koroma, NEC, PPRC and electoral authorities including Civil Society Organizations and security forces. They continue to sit and watch these political parties misbehaving with impunity.
As if these electoral laws were not enough to stop the political parties from publicly misbehaving, the February 2017 public speech of His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on the announcement of elections date should have educated the APC, SLPP, NGC and ADP not to start campaigns when NEC is yet to declare the process open.
President Koroma while declaring elections date past February strongly warned that the