Since assuming political power in 1996 the SLPP has had to grapple with returning the country to peace and stability the bedrocks of which are good governance and security. Without peace and stability there can be no sustained development and improvement in the welfare of our citizens; and without improvement in the living conditions of our people, peace cannot be guaranteed. This PLATFORM is about breaking out of this trap.
Since 1996, the SLPP has spared no effort in creating and strengthening national institutions and championing the enactment of relevant laws and regulations.
The party will continue to build on the gains already made in the governance arena and improve on the functional efficiency and delivery capacity of these institutions.
The SLPP government will also review and enforce laws and regulations in order to deliver the much needed development dividends of peace and stability.
The party takes pride in its achievements in the field of democratic governance that no other party has produced in the last 30 years.
The SLPP’s governance architecture in the next five years will be dominated by policies and programmes aimed at improving and strengthening the capacity and functionality of the basic institutions, structures and legislative frameworks we had previously established for the creation of a more tolerant, stable, secure, progressive and well-managed society grounded in the values of democracy and the rule of law.
Taking government to the people at grassroots will remain our main thrust.
The Local Government Act enacted in 2004 led to the holding of the first local government elections in 32 years after the abolition of elected local councils by the APC led administration in 1972 which encouraged increasing centralization of state authority with its attendant marginalization and exclusion of Rural Sierra Leone.
The 2004 Local Government elections facilitated the creation of 19 Local Government Councils in which are now reposed, by way of devolution, power and authority previously belonging to the central government.
The SLPP intends to reinforce this successful devolution of power to elected local councils, based on the conviction that the realization of the policy objectives of decentralization and local governance can contribute immensely to the consolidation of peace in the country.
And, through increased financing and collaboration, the SLPP government will use the local government structures to improve participatory governance as well as facilitate the effective and efficient provision and delivery of services at the local level.
Resuscitating Local Government Councils is, however, only half the task done.
The other half, requiring even more special attention, is the balance between leadership and responsibility on the one hand, and between power and accountability on the other.
This problem will need special attention, considering that these councils have been moribund for well over three decades.
In the wake of the devolution process the nation also witnessed over 70 paramount chieftaincy elections since 1996. The traditional respect and authority of chiefs have been fully restored.
All of this is designed to contribute in no small measure to the maintenance of peace and stability at the grassroots level.
The SLPP will continue to respect the institution of chieftaincy with its attendant culture, and will do everything possible to protect it from undue interference.