Sierra Leone: Uncertainties Over the 2018 Election Dates

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With the national elections billed for 2018, and the chairman of Sierra Leone`s National Electoral Commission (NEC) Mohamed Nfa Alie Conteh (photo) is yet to announce the dates for the elections, many are wondering what the reasons ““ or even motives ““ for the delays are. Mr. Conteh is being extremely pressurized by the opposition parties, civil society and the media alike to announce the dates for next year`s elections.

His refusal till now to announce the dates has raised many questions in many quarters. Worse still, with a secret letter allegedly written by Mr. Conteh to president Ernest Koroma touching the election dates last month, which has been leaked to the press and the pressure from different groups to announce the election dates, the NEC is struggling to save face and address the elections date issue.

In view of the latest development, many questions are being asked. Is the NEC really independent or just the tool of the ruling APC party? Is the ruling party trying to delay the 2018 elections? If yes, does the APC or the NEC have any secret agenda, which has made it delay the announcement of the election dates? Is the ruling party trying the best ways to implement it’s “four-for-four“ ““ the local elections, mayoral elections, constituency elections, and presidential election ““ winning formula, which helped the party achieve a great success in the 2012 elections?

Until the air is cleared quickly, the credibility of the NEC and the 2018 election in Sierra Leone might be in jeopardy.