Saturday, September 08, 2007

NEC Press Release on today’s voting

Voting underway for second round of Presidential polls

Freetown, 8 September 2007: The people of Sierra Leone are turning out across the country today to choose their next President in the second round of Presidential polls.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) can report that many of the challenges facing organizers and voters in the first round of the elections on 11 August - including late openings and crowd control issues - have been addressed, with turnout reported as gradual but consistent.

The majority of contactable polling stations are reported to have opened on time across Sierra Leone this morning, with few exceptions. Centres in two constituencies - 110 in Freetown and 18 in Kenema - were delayed but opened by 8am.

“I have been very impressed by efficiency of the voting process and the level of security provided by the Sierra Leonean Police (SLP) in the many polling stations I visited this morning,” said NEC Chairwoman Christiana Thorpe, “and I want to urge all those who have yet to vote to endeavour to do so as soon as possible, to avoid long queues at the end of the day.”

“I also want to encourage party agents and observers to maintain a presence in all stations throughout the process, especially the reconciliation and counting phase, and to remind the agents of the two contesting parties to receive a copy of the results after counting is completed at their station,” she added.