The Publicity Secretary of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Rtd. Lt. Lahai Leema disclosed that the party will be conducting Lower Level elections after the 14 days of gazetting the Rules and Regulation binding the conduct of elections elapsed.
In an interview with Awoko, Retired Lt. Leema disclosed that the Rules and Regulations do not have anything to do with the flag bearer elections as it is just meant for Lower Level and National Executive elections. Some of the rules include registration of members of the party and qualification for any position as stated in the country’s constitution.
Given the reason for developing and gazetting of the Rules and Regulations, he said part of the court order during the ruling of Ambassador Alie Bangura Versus SLPP, it was mandated that before the party conducts the next delegate conference and any elections, “we need to publish within 21 days Rules and Regulations governing Lower Level and National Elections and at the same time delegate list should be published within 21 days.”
Because of that and other previous issues surrounding the party, he went on, the National Executive Council (NEC) decide to do the Rules and Regulations that is in line with the National and Party constitutions which regulates the conduct of Lower Level and National Elections.
The SLPP Publicity Secretary maintained that “during the last NEC meeting held, part of the agenda was the adoption of the Rules and Regulations and the members deliberated on it and at the end of the day it was adopted by popular votes from the membership that were present. Also in attendance was a representative from the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC). But later we received a letter from the PPRC that asks us to send the electronic copy of the Rules and Regulations even though we are aware of it, but for it to be gazetted it has to be sent to the Commission that has the mandate to publish it for two weeks (fourteen days).”
Leema said the gazetting was done on the 29th January “and soon it will mature and thereafter if there are any objections we will deal with it. But we are not expecting objections because section 24 of the Constitution provides for the Rules and Regulations to be gazetted, and so whatever objection should border on alteration of the National or the Party constitution and these new Rules and Regulation do not have any alteration as it is in line with the National Constitution in section 35 (1) and (2) and in line with clause 4 of the Party Constitution 2005 as amended.”
Contrary to what people are saying that PPRC has held the Party to ransom by not conducting all Lower Level Elections, the Publicity Secretary stated that “this does not mean PPRC has put on hold the elections as stated by people, but we are merely observing procedures.
We can even decide to go ahead with the Lower Level Elections but we still want to observe the democratic process not to allow doubts and people creating aspersion that the process was fraudulent and undemocratic. After the 14 days period we will also hold a NEC meeting before the elections.”