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Page added on August 1, 2012
The debate in Freetown at the moment is over the pronouncement by NEC’s chairperson, Dr. Christiana Thorpe (in photo) for political aspirants, bulking the Presidential Nominees, Members of Parliament, Municipal and Local Government candidates to pay the various sums of Le 100 Million, Le 25 Million , Councilors Le2 million respectively.
Dr. Thorpe based the standards for this requirement on the level of maturity and sovereignty the country has attained claiming to have had a liberal economic façade much as saying the country should be capable of funding its state-run elections without donor support.
Equally, NEC boss said the forthcoming elections would attract a funding of Le 88 billion equivalent to US$ 20.1 Million, and it excludes a donor funding of US$ 9.6 Million, which means up to 23.5% of tax revenue is needed to run the November 17 elections.
Two key ideas- one, Christiana Thorpe made mentioned of the fact that we are an independent nation, which means we should try divorcing the tradition of dependency on foreign bodies. Two, as an independent sovereign state, the country should equally learn to shoulder her affairs, which is not too different from the first point.
Put these points into context, inasmuch as democracy gives right for equal participation in governance, that is every citizen deserves the right to vote and be voted for, it equally requires the citizenry to be independent and responsible enough. Since the country returned to democratization and democratic processes in 1996, donors have always funded such, which always almost makes it certain that who pays the piper calls the tune.
Besides, the country has been announcing a staggering 35% economic growth, which implies that no outside economy would fashion funding our election budget without having an ulterior motive to harvest the country’s resources. To the layman, this means Sierra Leone is buoyant of economic prospects, much as making it reliably independent.
The addendum to this also is the recent ranking of Sierra Leone 9th in the list of fastest improving economies in West Africa.
Quite apart from that, so many people have been flooding the politic of Sierra Leone who lack the economic independence and level of maturity needed to place them equal to the task. This pronouncement by NEC is like borrowing a leaf from other developing economies in the world whose criteria are that politicians should be persons with reserved status. Politics is a carrier for the affluent and not for the hoepoloe. The other good that is sure to come out of this increment is that it would be good armor to prevent corruption from occurring.
By this I mean poor men/women would not have business toying in politics. Over the times we’ve been having mere dregs of society enrolling into politics, doing nothing but stealing and indulging into corruption and corrupt practices.
This is evident that these same dregs often come to suck the resources of the state dry to become rich, while enjoying their mainstay in politics. The only seeming challenge on such is that the payers of such monies will be too keen on NEC in determining their fate and winning chances. But gain, this would make them imbibe the right approaches and methods of campaigning to win themselves solid votes that would ensure their winning.
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