Press Release by the All Aspirants Alliance of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP)
Tuesday December 20, 2016.
We the members of the All Aspirants Alliance of the SLPP (AAA) condemn, in the strongest terms, the convening of a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Saturday December 17, 2016 without following the prescribed procedures of the party’s constitution. The SLPP constitution ascribes the authority for the convening of a meeting of such a statutory arm of the party only to the Chairman and Leader.
Further, we reject all the decisions taken by the said NEC meeting including the ratification of delegates’ lists emanating from illegal parallel elections held in some areas during the lower level elections. It should be recalled that several party executives have filed petitions to the PPRC citing serious irregularities in the conduct of a number of constituency elections, and questioning the legitimacy of the said lists that were ratified at the meeting. The illegality of the decisions reached concerning the said delegates’ lists is underscored by the fact that the vast majority of District executives complied with the press release of the National Chairman and Leader calling for the postponement of district and regional elections; a matter which had also earlier received the concurrence of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) which supported the verification of the delegates’ list. In addition, an interim court injunction was granted by Justice Edwards of the High Court to halt all district and regional elections that were due to be held.
Hence, any delegates representing the districts and regions at the recent NEC meeting were doing so under false pretences as the elections should not have taken place as a consequence of the injunction.
We also strongly condemn the unilateral suspension of six senior party members including the Chairman and Leader without due process. We believe that no one should be intimidated or purged from their party simply because that person is seeking redress in a court of law. It is the inalienable right of every citizen to protect his or her political and human rights by going to court if they feel aggrieved. These attempts to deny members their freedom of speech or their right to have different opinions, through selective suspensions and expulsions as has seen in the recent past ,goes against the core values of the SLPP and further point to criminality in the conducts of party affairs by some people.
We wish to state clearly that we recognize Chief Bai Shebora Somano Karpen as the Chairman and Leader of the SLPP. We commend the courage of the Minority Leader of the SLPP, Dr. Bernadette Lahai, and several members of Parliament who have also condemned the illegal NEC meeting and the unconstitutional suspension of our Chairman and Leader a few weeks before the elections of national officers of the party.
We must not allow persons with criminal orientations to hijack our noble party. We therefore call on the National Chairman and Leader to convene an emergency NEC meeting to discuss the current crisis facing the party.
The AAA wishes to assure members of the SLPP who support our quest for constitutionality within the SLPP and all well meaning Sierra Leoneans that we will not be deterred by these setbacks occasioned by people who by their actions are subjecting a venerable party with stellar democratic credentials to ridicule. We are confident that we will succeed in our bid to restore our party to its past glory and electoral victory in 2018.
One Country, One People
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.