The Leader and Presidential Candidate of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) Andrew Turay has participated in all the two last democratic elections.(1996 & 2002) In 1996 he led the National Peoples Party (NPP) and polled 3,925 votes or 0.5%, beating none of the other 12 parties.
In 2002 he led the Young Peoples Party (YPP) and polled 3,859 votes or 0.2% and again did not beat any of the other 8 parties.
Questioned why after eleven years he thinks he can win this time round, Mr Turay said “This time around I’ll get around I think Sierra Leoneans are a lot wiser after eleven years of trouble.”
He went on “the point at issue here is that I am not a person who quits I believe in continuing the fight because I have a cause, I have a direction, and I have a vision for this country.”
“if I lose once I continue, if I lose twice I continue, and we’ll continue this time, we believe that we will win this time very easily because the country is better focused than it was before” he said
Asked why he thinks so Mr Turay answered “There is an awareness among the younger generation which form 65 percent of this population, the lyrics, the songs whatever is happening around the country is an indication that the people are tired.”
Recalling that he led the Young Peoples Party for the May 2002 elections and questioned why they did not make an impact then, the CPP leader said “We didn’t have time to campaign, only 30 days, the country was in danger – fighting all over the place, there was a war, it was a risk for people to even travel and campaign so we couldn’t campaign and that’s why we lost.”
Questioned on what he is now offering the people of Sierra Leone which the other political parties are not offering the third time Presidential aspirant answered “A lot of things – the point at issue here is that there are two parties that have run this country for the last 46 years what they have done is what we have today in Sierra Leone 46 years of whether its development or destruction it’s left for Sierra Leoneans to judge.”
Mr Turay went on “there was a paradise called Sierra Leone in 1961 when we gained independence, 46 years after independence this is what we now have destruction, no light no water, poor education, bad roads, hungry people, expensive eroded currency etc. etc.”
Accused of running away after the elections Mr Turay said “No no I’ve been here I’ve been working for DFID, when I lost I went back to Magburaka, I did 570 projects for DFID after that I worked for FAO after that I’ve just done consultancy work for the Farmers Association and now I’m doing STABEX consultancy with the EU I’ve never gone anywhere I’m here working.”