SIERRA LEONE PEOPLE’S PARTY
The Interim Chairman,
All Political Parties Association,
C/o 112 Pademba Road,
Freetown. 5th August, 2015
I write to you in my capacity as National Chairman and Leader of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) to make certain objections against the purported nomination of Mrs. Augusta James-Teima for the position of Interim Chairman of the All Political Parties Association (APPA). I do so on the grounds that as an Association we should at all times take decisions that are founded on a solid legal foundation and not wholly on the shifting sands and political expediency.
Already we have received two contradictory letters from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The first, dated 3 August, 2015, from Mr. Mohamed S. Jalloh, National Secretary General of the NDA, opposing Mrs. James Teima’s nomination on the grounds that she is not the Acting Chairman/Leader of the NDA and therefore not qualify to be nominated for the position of Chairman of APPA.
The second letter, dated 4 August, 2015, is signed by Mr. Abdulai Barrie, purporting to be the Acting National Secretary-General of the NDA. In this second letter, we are advised to ignore the first letter and to recognize Mrs. James Teima as the Chairman of the NDA.
Even on the assumption that the second letter is valid and correct our party has serious misgivings whether Mrs. James Teima can be properly and validly nominated for the position of Chairman of APPA for the reasons mentioned below.
In the first place Section 35(4) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone 1991 (No. 6 of 1991) provides that: “No political party shall have as a leader a person is who not qualified to be elected as Member of Parliament.” Section 76 (1) (b) of the constitution also states emphatically that: “No person shall be qualified for election as a Member of Parliament if he is a public officer….. or employee within twelve months prior to the date on which he seeks to be elected to Parliament.” Section 171 (1) of the constitution defines a “public officer” as “a person holding or acting in a public office.” And “public office” is defined in the same section as including an “office emoluments attaching to which are paid directly from the Consolidated Fund or directly out of moneys provided by Parliament”.
It is the understanding of our party that Mrs. James-Teima is currently a member of the staff of the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology. This being the case, we do not consider her eligible to be a leader of a political party and ipso facto eligible to be elected as Chairman of APPA.
In light of the foregoing, we wish to ask that the meeting of APPA scheduled for today, 5 August 2015, be deferred until further notice.
P.C. Bai Sebora Somanoh Kapen III
National Chairman & Leader
Chairman – PPRC
All Political Parties