Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NEC statement on run-off

On 8 September 2007, the presidential run-off election took place between the two presidential candidates that received the highest scores on 11 August. Observer reports have started to come in, and we are delighted to note that, this time around, it has also been widely accepted that polling was successfully undertaken throughout the country, despite heightened tensions in the days prior to polling. During polling day the voters displayed their commitment to the exercise of their rights with calm, patience and dignity and we were all happy to note that overall, polling day took place in relative calm and peace. As was the case after the Parliamentary and Presidential election of 11 August, it is vitally important that this atmosphere of calm be retained during this crucial tallying and announcement of results phase.

We at NEC understand the impatience to receive definite results. We want to reassure one and all that we will do our best to provide the final certified results as quickly as possible. But it is also important to remind everyone that the process will take some time. The process of retrieval of results is slow, but we are advancing at good speed. However, because we want to maintain the integrity of the process, we need to maintain the checks and balances to be completely sure that the official results reflect in its entirety the will of the electorate. Today we have only some partial results, but the pace will be picking up. The Commission will continue to endeavour to find ways to accelerate the process in ways that will still maintain the integrity of the process. Let me however emphasize that any results presented from today on are partial and they should be understood as such. Everyday we will bring you cumulative results, until the day when we can present 100% of the results.

Before we present today’s results, I want to appeal to all stakeholders, political parties but also national and international observer groups, to present to the Commission any information on complaints or irregularities that were witnessed during 8 September. It is our wish to investigate each and every case, but for this we need your input in a detailed manner, with concrete details. Sweeping statements or declarations do not help the work of the Commission or the credibility of the process. The earlier the information reaches us, the better for us to make the appropriate investigation in a timely manner and finalize the tabulation of official results. We thank all those who have complied so far.

Notes on results

· Results have been received for 11 out of 14 districts. By the end of today it is expected that some results will have been received from all districts.

· 1,364 polling station results have now been entered into the results database. This represents only 22.2% of all polling stations. Please note that these are very partial results, as there are still 4,793 polling stations pending

· The average national turnout is currently 73.4%.

· There are 8,965 invalid votes, representing 1, 9% of total votes cast. This is particularly encouraging so far, as it is lower than the rate of invalid votes for the previous election.

· The results which will be announced today are partial - tomorrow you will have progressive cumulative results with all the new official results added to today’s total.

· The detailed results, by station and by center, will be posted on the NEC web site immediately after this press conference: necsierraleone.org We encourage everyone, but particularly political parties, to check these detailed results with your own copy of the polling station result sheets and come back immediately to the NEC should they find a discrepancy.

Our next press conference will be tomorrow, Tuesday 11 September, here at the NEC media center at 6:00 pm.

Christiana Thorpe, Chairperson, National Electoral Commission.

Editor’s note::

Here is a summary of the preliminary results released today:

Presidential election results by district

Kenema District
Ernest Koroma(APC)—4,823
Solomon Berewa(SLPP)—18,918

Kono District

Bombali District

Kambia District(Not yet available)
Koinadugu District(Not yet available)

Port Loko District

Tonkolili District

Bo District

Bonthe District(Not yet available)

Moyamba District

Pujehun District

WA Rural

WA Urban


NEC statement on run-off