With the National Electoral Commission (NEC) having said that it is short of funds to issue out the promised biometric identification cards that it said it would furnish voters with, the next concern of the citizenry is the proposed boundary delimitation exercise that should have followed the date given to NEC by Statistics Sierra Leone for the December 2015 National Population Census.
NEC calculated that from the census, which put the population at more than 7.5 million, there should now be about 132 constituencies compared to the 112 in the 2012 elections. Government also said that two new districts should be created.
Meanwhile, a Civil Society umbrella group has urged Government to demonstrate commitment to the country’s electoral process amidst concern of a possible delay in next year’s much anticipated polls.
The Standing Together for Democracy Consortium (STDC), which is monitoring the electoral process, has said Government should ensure timely and adequate support to the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to enable it roll out its activities in line with the Electoral calendar.
The group is concerned that inadequate funding and delay by parliament to ratify a Statutory Instrument to legalize the outcome of the Boundary Delimitation exercise conducted last year could derail the electoral process with the tendency of preventing the conduct of the elections slated for 7 March, 2018.
It could be recalled that Parliament had accused NEC of contravening the Constitution by embarking on registration before parliamentary approval of the delineated boundaries for which they summoned NEC officials.
NEC, based on the 2015 National Population and Housing Census data, conducted the boundary delimitation exercise which saw the creation of two new districts in the north and several new constituencies and wards across the country.
As it is now, the matter is in limbo with no decision arrived at whether the old constituency and ward boundaries will be used or the revised one.