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Sierra Leone release the 2018 general elections voting process.

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Sierra Leone is aiming to consolidate its democratic credentials and that of the West Africa sub region when they go to the polls on Wednesday February 7 to elect a set of political representatives.

As a general election, the process comprises, the presidential, legislative, the mayoral and local level officials.

The most keenly contested vote, however, is the presidential poll that has sixteen aspirants running (14 men and two women). The main contenders are the ruling APCparty’s Samura Kamara and the main opposition SLPP’s Julius Maada Bio.

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The voting process is very much like it is across Africa and parts of the world. Prospective voters will have to be on the voter roll and to present their voter identification documents or any acceptable IDs to be allowed to vote.

1. All things being equal, on arrival at a polling station a person is expected to present their voter ID to an official.

2. The National Electoral Commission chief is on record to have said aside the voters ID card, other valid national ID cards could be presented so far as a person is registered.

3. If details correspond to what is in the register, a voter is handed a presidential ballot paper. The voter goes into a booth to secretly cast their ballots and put in a transparent box. They will go through the same motion for legislative vote.

4. The means of casting vote is by thumb print, using a pen to mark by ones candidate or just ticking their box.

5. NEC has also confirmed that there is the braille option for the visually impaired and all voting centers are disability friendly.

6. Polls will be opened over an eleven-hour period, from 7am till 6pm. Counting and declaration of results will be done immediately after.

  • The voter eligibility age is 18 years and above.

  • The NEC and police advises people after casting their ballots to leave the polling stations, they are free to return to observe vote counting and results declaration.

  • Aside polling and security officials, registered observers and representatives of candidates are the only group of people allowed to remain at the station during the voting process.

  • Political material on the day of vote and at polling centers is prohibited and a person can only vote if he/she shows up physically – proxies are not allowed.

  • A person is entitled to just one ballot paper, if damaged for whatever reason there will be no replacement.

  • A presidential aspirant need 55% of votes cast to win a first round vote. It no candidate makes the mark, a runoff vote is scheduled.

  • In the case of the legislative polls, it is a case of first past the post winning the seat.

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Motherland News

PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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Motherland News

New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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