Seven political parties have concluded their nominations and have been registered to take part in the 2007 Presidential elections. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) will today officially launch the campaign period at the NEC Headquarters in Wellington.
This will blow the whistle for all seven candidates- Sierra Leone People’s Party (Solomon Berewa), All People’s Congress (Ernest Koroma), People’s Movement for Democratic Change (Charles Margai), United National People’s Party (Abdul Kady Karim), People’s Liberation Party (Dr Baba Kandeh Conteh), National Democratic Alliance (Alhajie Amadu Boe Jalloh) and Convention People’s Party (Andrew Turay) to start selling their manifestoes for votes
There would be no marked difference in the Manifestoes of the various parties as all of them are promising that they will focus on Utilities -Electricity water supply and welfare issues which has been the persistent problems of all Sierra Leoneans
On the line they will launch their campaign the incumbent Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Solomon Berewa told Awoko that they will be asking the people of Sierra Leone to look at their track record to see what they are capable of doing in comparison to their opponents.
Solomon Berewa added “I have a presumption of continuity” while stressing also that they will fight poverty.
Ernest Bai Koroma of the All Peoples Congress (APC), the main opposition Party said that they will primarily focus on providing light and water before they implement what he called the “APC Development Agenda” that will focus among other things on revamping the economy.
The APC leader said that “change” is the bedrock they will launch their campaign on.
People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) Charles Margai said that they will launch their campaign from two angles-to firstly get sierra Leoneans to become aware of all the natural resources in the country and secondly to get Sierra Leoneans to look at the past and compare it with the present situation in the country and decide on what they want for the future.
The National Democratic Alliance is going into the election with a female running mate and the party’s presidential flag bearer said he wants to break the traditional mentality that pushes women to the rear.
He promised that their party will empower women and even abolish female genital mutilation (FGM).
Peoples Liberation Party, Convention Peoples Party and United National People’s Party all promised almost the same things, to provide social amenities and restore utilities.
Political pundits have predicted that the forthcoming elections will be a close contest especially between the SLPP and The APC which are the two biggest and oldest parties in the country and that there would definitely be a run off as no single party will get the 55% needed to win the elections.
All the parties subscribed to an election code of ethics wherein they also agreed to keep the elections violent free so there are strong hopes that the elections will be relatively peaceful.
All the Presidential candidates continued to express confidence in the Electoral process so far and the National Electoral Commission and its chief, Dr Christiana Thorpe.
Ernest Koroma after their nominations last Thursday remarked “We are very satisfied with the electoral process; it shows that NEC has displayed a great level of transparency”
Transparency, non violence, Freeness and Fairness are the watch words all Sierra Leoneans will be yearning for and demanding from NEC and all the political parties in the forthcoming August 11 elections, but the Chief Electoral Commissioner added that the onus for a good and credible elections rests on the shoulders of all Sierra Leoneans.