By Sulaiman Juldeh Bah
Ahead of country’s general elections, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) has said that it intends recruit 84,000 polling staff to cover polling stations nationwide.
Albert Massaquoi, NEC’s Director of Media and External Relations said his commission has already put out advertisement for various positions ranging from managers to polling staff, but said they have so far received little over 100,000 application forms.
He said NEC needs enough man power to manage the 11,200 polling stations that would be set up across the country.
He claimed they have recruited regional polling managers that would be responsible for the tallying of regional results generated from wards, constituencies and districts for onward transmission to NEC national headquarters in Freetown.
Furthered that NEC will recruit competent Sierra Leoneans with integrity to manage polling stations, and that same would be done through thorough scrutiny of all applicants after an ability test examination.
On the issue of ongoing nominations, he said the failure of some political parties to appear on their designated nomination dates, technically affected the work of NEC, but maintained they are on the verge of completing the entire process by the deadline time- January 26th.
He warned against any political party missing the deadline for nomination, as in his words, “will have themselves to blame,” because there would be no further extension.
The Commission, he maintained, will be busy with other things such as printing of ballot papers, staff recruitment and declaration of official campaign open.
On the issue of voting by security personnel deployed during polling day, he said any security personnel deployed outside their registration wards/constituencies would not vote for councilors/members of parliament, but would be entitled to vote for president regardless of their deployment areas.