By S. U Thoronka……………….
Mr. Mohamed N’fa Alie Conteh, proposed Chairman National Electoral Commission (NEC) and Mr. Momoh Kemoh Konte, proposed Chairman National Telecommunications Company (NATCOM) yesterday appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments and the Public Service for interview.
Answering questions from members of the panel, Mr. N’fa Conteh who had spent 25 years at NEC said as by law any appointment by the President to the present position must be acknowledged by all political parties and finally approved by Parliament. He assured the panel that he would do all in his power to maintain fairness and at the same time engage in consultation in the discharge of his duties as Chairman National Electoral Commission.
Asked whether he would refer matters to the Police like his predecessor, Mr. N’fa Conteh said, he would try by all possible means to avoid the intervention of the Police but, however, agreed with Honourable Ibrahim Bundu that a matter for the Police is for the Police. He said he could not easily get annoyed especially when working with different political parties.
Mr. N’fa Conteh informed that he had been a school teacher for a while but that he had found work at the National Electoral Commission challenging especially when political parties are vying for power in the country. He promised to abide by the provisions of the constitution by conducting free, fair and credible elections, capacitate his staff members by providing the requisite training and equipment for them.
Mr. N’fa Conteh noted that if elections are conducted well there would be peace but if done otherwise he said there would be chaos and does not want the country to tread on that path. He also noted that boundary delimitation would be his next challenge, adding that reference had to be made on the latest census figure while acknowledging that the 2004 census report is obsolete.
In his response to the panel, the proposed Chairman of NATCOM, Mr. Momoh Kemoh Konte said there is a fine line between working in an establishment and being a consultant. He said one acquires experience through work whereas a consultant gives professional advice. He said his first priority when he takes over office is to increase rural telephony and the internet penetration rate.
Mr. Momoh Konte assured the panel that he was not going to NATCOM to play ping pong but to cater for more investors. He lamented over the collapse of three mobile companies, adding that it is not good for the country and the economy.