Sierra Leone: The ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has over the weekend conducted its lower level elections across the country in a bid to have executive members in all positions in both zonal and sectional levels.
Generally the zonal and sectional elections were successful, except for few areas in Western Area Urban and Kenema, says Lahai Lawrence Leema, SLPP Publicity Secretary.
Leema furthered that there were complaints in Western Area Urban in which some members alleged that people were allowed to take part in the elections who are not members of the party, and in Kenema on the other hand, some members alleged that the elections were not conducted.
He added that the complaints have reached the complaints committee in the party and SLPP being a transparent party would look into the merit of the complaints and act on them, “and after addressing the complaints we will move to the next stage.”
He said the party allowed members who don’t have membership cards to vote in the Zonal and Sectional elections because there was not enough time for people to afford the cards, and there has been a precedent to the effect while the party was in opposition with a similar voting pattern.
“That is a huge base, going by a party card people would be disenfranchised so at that level we required the participation of every member,” he maintained.
Leema explained that at the zonal and sectional level members know themselves based on meetings they use to attend, and there would be doubt in some people who were not participating actively in party meetings. Going forward to the constituency level he said, only members with party cards would be allowed to participate.
“Now the zonal and sectional level have their delegates and from that level there are identifiable delegates that would vote for constituency executives,” he pointed out.
There was a one week interval between each elections in the previous timetable issued by the party, but the outcome of complaints put forward before the complaints committee would now determine when the party would hold the next elections.
“If the complaints found out that there were no hitches we continue with the timetable. But if there are issues we will reschedule the time for the conduct of the elections,” Leema mentioned.
Moving forward, the party’s publicity secretary called on various executives in the party that are conducting elections, to do so transparently to ensure a fair process for eligible members, and further advised Members of Parliament and national officers to allow the process to go on as planned.
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