SIERRA LEONE PEOPLES PARTY
REPORT ON THE RERUN OF SIXTEEN (16) CONSTITUENCIES IN THE WESTERN REGION OF THE 39 CONSTITUENCIES BY THE ORDERS OF THE COURT OF APPEAL ON MONDAY, 5TH JUNE 2017
Mr. Chairman, Members of NEC, the Last Appeal Court orders to Rerun Sixteen (16) of the twenty-one (21) constituencies in the Western Region were received with heavy heart by the majority of members of SLPP in the Western Region. But being a courageous and focused Regional Vice-Chairman, I called the membership of the Party in the Western Region, particularly in the affected constituencies to a series of consultative meetings in order to prepare their minds to accept the Court orders and to go into the respective Lower Level Elections with clear minds and in good faith.
Mr. Chairman, Members of NEC, since the 5th July 2017 which was the first dated fixed for the respective rerun to start, my executive officers and myself were faced with a lot of challenges. In the first instance, NEC members being cautious in giving green light for the Rerun to start, allowed the rerun to start with the zonal conscientious/elections up to District and Region. This was however again challenged in Court and the strained efforts of my Constituency Executives, and other good wishers and stakeholders in the Region were frustrated.
We however came back to the drawing board and started off at constituency level executive elections. The Constituency Elections were somewhat challenging, in some constituencies but we were .able to go through all the obstacles with the cooperation of my respective Constituency and District and Regional Officers.
May I take the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges for the benefit of you all:
(I) The two constituencies (092 and 093) in the West Rural District were amongst those I was faced with stiff challenges. 11th July 2017 was the date slated for the constituency elections. At a consultative meeting held with the Constituency Chairmen, Chairman Solomon Coker of 092 and Chambers of 093, in consultation with their District Chairman over phone in the presence of their Constituency Executives present; we reached at common venues, time and Returning Officers. On the day of the elections, constituency 093 was confirmed to have conducted the executive elections and result was submitted to me for endorsement properly signed by the Returning Officer, and the District Chairman. The executive elections in 092 were confirmed to have been canceled and postponed by the District Chairman, Nat-Jones himself; but I was shocked when the committee of aspirant presented a result signed by the District Chairman, Edward Nat-Jones for my endorsement. They laid emphasis on the Golden rule of Clause 5 (2) of the Rules and Regulations for the conduct of SLPP Executive Elections. This was reluctantly endorsed by me with the fair hope that this shall be applicable in all other contentious constituencies and districts;
(ii) In constituency 096 of East Urban District, the same Golden rule was applied to two zones (2 and 3) during the constituency executive elections. This too was accepted by me as the Regional Chairman; all for peace sake in the SLPP;
(iii) In the Central District, there are two constituencies – 106 and 107. Elections were conducted in constituency 107 and results submitted to me, sign by both the Returning Officer and the District Chairperson without contention. Unlike the previous, two constituency executive lists were submitted for constituency 106, and one of the results was signed by the Returning Officer only, while the other was signed by both the Returning Officer and the District Chairperson. In this case too, the Aspirants Committee again called for the Golden rule of Clause 5 (2) of the Rules and Regulations of 29th January 2016. In the interest of peace and being conscious of the Rule of law, I accepted the results signed by the District Chairperson as recommended by the committee
(iv) In the West-West District, all members of the Aspirants Committee became keen, and appeared to be shifting the goal post of the Golden rule. In the first place, the District Chairman was forced against his normal wish to conduct the constituency executive elections in constituencies 109, 111, and 112 three times at various dates, and all the results were the same with little or no change in the respective constituency executive lists. In the case of the rerun in the West-West District, the Committee of Aspirants were adamant to bend the Golden rule of clause 5 (2) and to allow lists presented by some other persons other than those conducted, signed and presented by the Acting District Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, Members of NEC, we have however, been able to complete the conduct of the rest of the Lower Level Elections from Constituency to Regional successfully with preference to strict adherence to the Appeal Court orders, and the Gazetted Rules and Regulations of 29th January, 2016.
On this note, Mr. Chairman, Members of NEC, by the powers bestowed on me by Clause 4 (E) (4) of the SLPP Constitution of 1995 (as amended), and Clause 2 (28) of the Gazetted Rules and Regulations which states and I quote, “All Elections results endorsed by the Regional Convention shall be submitted by the Regional Chairman to the NEC for ratification……”. I have the singular honour as the Regional Chairman of the Western Region to now submit to you the lists of the newly elected Lower Level Elections of the following:
- a) Constituencies: 092, 093, 096, 097, 098, 099, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 111, and 112;
- b) Districts: West Rural, East Urban, Central and West-West;
- c) The Regional-West,
And, I now move for your ratification.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, Members of NEC, I want to take this moment to express my thanks and appreciation to the Committee of Aspirants for whatever contributions they made during this trying times for all of us to go through a successful Lower Level Elections. I admit that, I indeed realized the limited circumstances within which they were operating particularly with regards the limitation put on them by Clause 2 (30) of the Gazetted Rules and Regulations for the conduct of SLPP Executive Elections, and I quote, “All Aspirants, unauthorized National Officer…” shall refrain from interfering in the conduct of elections. Any direct or indirect interference by any of the persons aforementioned… shall be considered a violation of Clause 2 (5) (b) of the SLPP Constitution of 1995 (as amended).
Thank you for your attention.
Hon. Manso A. Dumbuya
Regional Vice Chairman – West