Sierraloaded has received authoritative reports confirming interest of the ruling APC party to keep the Koroma government in power beyond the stipulated constitutional provisions.
Since winning the 2012 elections, a quiet storm has been in the making around the contentious issue of who should succeed president Koroma, as presidential candidate for the elections in 2017/18.
This storm is yet to gather pace, and so far remains weak, until the ruling party announces a date for its convention – possibly later this year or early 2017, to elect its presidential flagbearer, when the battle for leadership of the party will officially commence.
But beneath that simmering volcano, plans are already afoot for the 2018 elections, and these plans do not make for pleasant reading, if you are a democrat.
State House sources informed Sierraloaded this week about a recent meeting of senior APC party grandees, where it was agreed that the campaign calling for the extension of the presidential term of office from two to three years, should be modified.
Having lost the argument for an extension of term limit for president Koroma, new plans are being drawn up to phase the elections that are due in 2018 over a longer period that will inevitably see the president remain in office until the end of 2020.
“In February 2018 local elections will be held. In November 2018 general elections will be conducted. And in November 2019, presidential election will take place.”, That is the plan, a State House insider told Sierraloaded.
If this plan, which sources say has been endorsed by the country’s chief electoral commissioner and the Director of Statistics Sierra Leone goes ahead, then president Koroma will not be handing power over to his successor until May 2020.
Sierra Leone having experienced crisis in recently held elections, It was further gathered that the NEC will cite “security” among other reasons for the extension of the election date beyond the normal.