Salone Radio Amsterdam discusses forthcoming elections
One of the tenets of democracy is the principle of free and fair election. Since gaining independence on 27 April 1961,Sierra Leonehas shown her political maturity in Africa, especially in the area of electioneering. Sierra Leone was the first African country in which an opposition party came to power by electoral means. The first election victory for the opposition took place in 1967. Forty years later history repeated itself when the opposition party took the reign of power from the ruling party in 2007.
Paradoxically, however, multi-party system that is meant to augment political participation of the people was frowned upon by almost all Sierra Leoneans on gaining independence in 1961 because the system “is bringing untold difficulties in the country. We are therefore urging the government in the name of unity and peace to introduce a One Party system of government now.” A very popular acclaim at the One-Party-State debate was “the implementation of a single Party would put an end to strife, tribalism and sectionalism, and make for unity and peace.”
The election violence that erupted in 1977 was the last straw that broke the back of Multi-party system. On June 14, 1978 President gave his assent to the One party Constitution, thereby transforming Sierra Leone’s political status to a Republican One Party State. The same day Siaka Stevens was sworn-in as Executive President under section 170 of the One Party Constitution for a seven-year term. Sierra Leonebecame ade facto and de jure one party state.
Elections will be conducted inSierra Leonein 2012. However, pre-election violence has already started to show its ugly head in some part of the country. The elections will be keenly watched by all Sierra Leoneans and the international community in that the consolidation of peace will be determined by the smooth conduct of this democratic process.
Is the incumbent president going to have a second term to rule us for another five years? Or Is he going to suffer defeat from the Maada Bio-Kadie Sesay combination?
Indeed, the selection of Kadie Sesay as running mate of Maada Bio is a smart undertaking given the fact that she is a woman and a northerner.
If SLPP wins the election in 2012, is that going to be the beginning of GIRL POWER in politics?
Last Friday, Salone Radio Amsterdam discussed the changes that are taking place in the political landscape of Sierra Leone. You can listen to the programme through these links:
Mohamed Kunowah Kiellow, Amsterdam
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