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Dispute over Slipway community election

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The Chairman of the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) of Slipway/Crown Hill Community Mr. Daniel Davies, and scores of residents have rejected the election of Mr. Isaac K. Krah as chairman of the community.

They term Krah’s election amid a pending court ruling on a previous election in the community as gross disrespect. Krah is from the community-based Indigenous Party.

In a statement, IEC Chairman Davies said, while complaint from Isaac K. Krah is in court, he has allegedly and singlehandedly conducted a bogus election that declared him community.

“I as Chairman-elect of the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) of Slipway/Crown Hill community do hereby declare and vehemently reject the so-called election conducted by Isaac K. Krah that is not recognized by the court and residents of Slipway/Crown Hill”, the statement reads.

It continues that no group or person within the community has right whatsoever to conduct community elections except the IEC that was elected by overwhelming majority of the Slipway/Crown Hill residents.

The statement wonders why Isaac K. Krah, whose complaint is before the court, would decide to conduct election in the community in total disrespect for the rule of law, something, it notes has the propensity to drag the entire community into serious violence and chaos, urging inhabitants not to do business with the Krah leadership, pending ruling from the court.

At the same time, dozens of residents, who spoke to reporters following Krah’s election as community chairman, say they will not recognize his leadership because his election was carried out outside of court ruling.

They call on the court to ensure self-proclaimed chairman Krah does not drag the community into serious violence, adding that his action has the propensity not only to disrupt community peace and security, but also sabotage and prevent it from benefiting developments so badly needed.

One person reportedly died in 2019 during electoral violence in Slipway/Crown Hill community. The victim was said to have been pushed into the St. Mesurado River allegedly by a supporter of one of the candidates vying for the community chairmanship position when police arrived there to quell the violence.

Mr. Isaac K. Krah on 23 October and 27 November 2019 wrote two separate complaints before the Independent Elections Commission of Slipway/Crown Hill community, containing several allegations from the election process.

Krah’s Indigenous Party (IP), among other things, alleged that there was no general meeting held to mandate the IEC as per the voting process and procedures; registration process not in order, check and balance for transparency, voter’s registration without photos, no education for electoral staff, which caused lot of dissatisfaction to his IP party and community dwellers with voter’s registration officers moving from house to house.

His complaints also cataloged other alleged irregularities such as no party observers or prominent dwellers during the registration; no application process for qualification of candidates, and adequate public awareness, among others.

By Emmanuel Mondaye

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