Voter Registration Rubbishes Census Figures
After several attempts to delay the release of the figures of the recently concluded Voter Registration exercise, the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone finally released the figure and in a letter to the Government Printers, called for the list to be gazetted and published to enable voters to verify their details. According to the figures of the ECSL, There has been a significant increase in the number of voters in opposition areas than in ruling party spheres of influence. This revelation, political analysts say rubbishes the census figures that had been hotly contested by various opposition parties as doctored.
It could be recalled that when the provisional Census figure was released, the details showed that the population in the South and South-east region exceeded that of the capital city and Northern Sierra Leone. This brought concerns from many Sierra Leoneans, including the Freetown Mayor, who wrote the Statistician General questioning the figures and producing details of a survey hr institution had conducted in the city where new settlements were captured. This concern was echoed by many residents. Unfortunately, the government took to defending the figures, where his Excellency is quoted to have said that this is the most credible figure for national development purposes and can be relied on as credible data of the country’s population.
During an interview on Radio Democracy, the Electoral Commissioner had indicated that they were poised to use the said flawed Census figure to do Boundary Delimitation to create more constituencies for the coming 2023 General Elections. Several government officials had on various occasions, both on Radio and TV defended the Census figure as depicting the current population distribution in the country. Now that the result of the Voter Registration exercise conducted few months ago is out, it is laughable that the figures of mere voters far surpasses the number of the entire population that the Census gave for the Western Area and the North.
The question being asked by some concerned citizens is whether this had to do with the big U-Turn of the ECSL Boss to embrace Proportional Representation for the coming General Elections.