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Trouble looms

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-over Gbarpolu election

Another trouble is looming over the rescheduled Gbarpolu Senatorial election in Norman Town, where electorial violence there forced the National Elections Commission (NEC) to suspend the holding of the December 8, 2020 senatorial elections in the area.

The NEC has set Thursday January 7 to conduct the rerun, but the campaign team of Botoe Kanneh, the only female leading candidate in the race is sounding an alarm that the electorial body has taken a unilateral decision to set the date of the rerun and that it wants a readjustment of the schedule.

The Botoe team also notes that NEC is yet to address its concerns raised in a complaint filed before the electorial body last December where it outlined several issues.

In their complaint, the Botoe campaign team requested that NEC create a secured environment for its candidate to effectively campaign; Give back the Voter Registration Cards seized from their supporters by the Immigration Commander who is the Inspector General assigned in the area (Fayiah).

The team further call for the release of its supporters from Prison who it claims are currently illegally detained without according them due process. It also wants the voting area to be relocated from Normodotahun to an ideal area due to the security concerns.

“Frankly speaking, we deem it necessary to have the election date readjusted in order to resolve the issues mentioned supra. As the situation stands, we are apprehensive of the integrity these elections,” the Botoe campaign team stated.

It is not cleared whether NEC is going to grant the Botoe campaign its request to delay the reschedule election in the area. Nomodatahum, is a bordering town with Sierra Leone. Elections in the area were called off on Election Day, after angry youth acting on the instructions of the Clan Chief stormed voting centers and took away the boxes containing ballot papers and other voting materials.

A rerun of the election was expected to take place there on Tuesday December 15, but violent clashes coupled with the release of a country devil disrupted the rescheduled election.

As per the NEC provisional result from the December 8 polls, Madam Botoe Kanneh, is topping the race by some 449 votes ahead of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate Alfred Gayflor Koiwood in the county’s senatorial election. A win in the town with 2021 register voters could seal her victory.–writes Othello B. Garblah

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