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Page added on March 8, 2011
We have been informed that the main opposition party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) is taking a u-turn to comply with the Supreme Court ruling.
The party, we are informed, has drawn up a timetable to conduct what we view as hastily arranged elections at constituency up to regional level. We will be constrained to predict the outcome of these elections, but unforeseeable events may crop up during this exercise.
In the first place no sufficient time has been given to prospective candidates to canvass for votes or to present themselves as suitable representatives of their constituencies, districts, or regions.
Given the hasty manner these elections are going be conducted in, the credibility of the outcome will be very crucial to keeping the party’s image intact.
What if there are disagreements over the results? How will those grievances be addressed? We are told that complaints committees have been set up at district level. Fine! Would decisions of those committees be respected by aggrieved parties?
We are raising these concerns against the backdrop that the viability of the party’s electoral chances in the 2012 large depends on the conduct and outcome of these local elections. The party, we believe, is still in agony over the recent defeat it suffers at the hands of one man, thus ridiculing it in the eyes of the public. The members are yet to fully recover from the humiliation.
Of course, we in this medium do not underestimate the party’s democratic ideals; the unity of the party is built on sound democratic foundation, but looking at politics and the way it transforms human beings, the SLPP has added more to its plate than it can stomach. This is why pundits are of the opinion that these little elections could either make or break the party.
The point at issue here is that the party which prides itself as the party with brains and talent has failed to live by its principles. In the first place, why did the party take the trouble to defer its internal elections unnecessarily knowing fully well the implication and knowing that what they were doing was a blatant violation of their own constitution, regardless of whether other political parties had violated theirs?
This is the one million dollar question on the lips of critics. As a party that is noted for its democratic practices, it was foolhardiness to allow a few greedy politicians to mislead the rest of the members, most of who are highly educated and legal minded.
What goes around always comes around. As a matter of fact, what the party should have done first to prevent all the embarrassment the members are now going through is what they are now clamoring to do last, at their own expense. The damage has been done, any image laundering at this time could be too expensive than one would imagine.
Too little too late!
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