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Page added on August 23, 2012
Those members of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) who think that they will be given symbols outside the will of the people are mistaken. Under the watch of the democratic President of Sierra Leone and the Leader of the party, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma , it is the people who will decide the candidates who receive symbols to contest the forthcoming elections on November 17, 2012. The Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo (in photo), lengthily discussed the APC symbol award policy in an exclusive interview with Cokorioko yesterday.
These were the exact words of the Information Minister to Cocorioko during yesterday’s interview :
“The President has established a new direction of democracy within the APC by insisting that the ordinary people must elect their own candidates for the elections through an electoral college system, known as the Symbol Award Committee. Candidates for the Councillor seats will be elected at the Ward level by the APC members of that Ward. Each constituency will elect its own candidate. The Mayoral candidate will also be elected through the wards within the municipality and the Chairmen of District Councils will be elected by an electoral consisting all the constituencies within a given district.”
“When the symbol award committees shall have selected these candidates, these are the same candidates the party will introduce to the National Elections Commission (NEC ). The implication of this new arrangement announced by President Koroma is that nobody will impose a candidate on the people anymore. In other words, the people themselves, through the electoral colleges , will select the candidates representing the APC at the elections, and when asked why he had introduced the new system, the President insisted that the people must be given an opportunity to take part in the choice of the candidates who will represent them during the elections.”
“President Koroma also insists that as of now the party will continue to be internally democratic in all respects. The National Advisory Committee, chaired by the President himself, will put in place a mechanism that will ensure that only the elected people picked by the electoral colleges are presented to the NEC for the local council, parliamentary, mayoral, and district chairmen elections.”
“As for the position of Presidential candidate , it has already been contested during the last party convention which brought delegates from all over the country, who elected Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as the presidential candidate for the 2012 elections.”
“The various regions have been divided into sub-regions for the choice of candidates. The Southern Region is headed and supervised by Mr. Frank Kargbo , the Northern Region by Mr. Victor Foh , the Eastern Region by me, I.B. Kargbo, and the Western Area by Mr. Minkailu Mansaray. Mr. Alpha Kanu is part of the team for the East and Deputy Leader for Kono. The public is satisfied that the President has introduced a new credible system in his determination to promote good governance even at the party level.”
The Information Minister further informed Cokorioko that he was heading for Kono, then to Kailahun, and then Kenema , to ensure that all the structures were in place and that the people will elect their candidates without problems.
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