Representatives from All Peoples Congress (APC), Sierra Leone Peoples Party(SLPP) and the Alliance Democratic Party(ADP) have on Monday, 20th June, 2016 pledged their support towards peaceful by-elections, which are to take place in Kailahun and Port Loko districts respectively.
This follows a press release from the Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC) on Monday 20th June, in which “the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) wishes to express repugnance over the level of repeated violence and intolerance in the build-up towards the By-Elections in Constituency 050 in Port Loko District and Contituency 001 in Kailahun Distict.”
Responding to this, the National Secretary General of the ruling APC, Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh said that the party has instituted measures to curtail the spate in which people are involving in violent activities across Lunsar, in Port Loko district, and Kailahun district. He called on party supporters to be politically tolerant and expressed that the APC seriously frowns at any individual that puts up unnecessary behaviour that is likely to result in violence, which thus affect public peace. He said “the APC is a peaceful party therefore it is not condoning any form of violence in the build up to by-elections in constituencies 001 and 050 respectively.”
Similar sentiment was shared by the chairman and leader of the SLPP, Chief Somano Kapen, who said the SLPP is however not involved in any violent activities in Constituency 050, but assured that the party will uphold public peace. He said they are committed to ensuring that the by-election in Kailahun goes on as planned.
In addition, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, chairman and leader of ADP referred to the politics of Sierra Leone as “a family issue.” He said “despite the various political differences of Sierra Leoneans, we are all one big family. Therefore, I am ready to embrace my brothers from other political parties, irrespective of the results outcome.” Mr. Kamarainba furthered urged his supporters to refrain from violence and public disorder.
Vacancies of the Member of Parliament seats in both constituencies 001 and 050 result from the death of former SLPP MP- Honourable Patrick Foyah and the Presidential appointment of APC MP- Honourable Isata Kabia as Minister of State II at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation respectively.
Since the National Electoral Commission (NEC) published a timetable for the conduct of the by-elections in the constituencies, which is scheduled for July 9th 2016, there have been unhealthy rivalries between all the political parties involved. This has drawn the attention of Sierra Leoneans. Meanwhile, all the participating political parties have pledged their support towards achieving a peaceful electoral process. Citizens who spoke to Awareness Times Newspaper said political tolerance is indeed welcoming for the democracy of Sierra Leone.