By Lahai Lawrence Leema (Acting National Publicity Secretary SLPP)…
The All People’s Congress (APC) Might be disqualified from taking part in the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections if president Ernest Bai Koroma is to be elected or continue as chairman and leader of the party in the forth coming delegate conference. Except the party amends its Constitution where the flag bearer position is separated from that of the chairman and leader.
Section 35 (2) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991 provides that the “internal organization of a political party shall conform to democratic principles, and it’s aims objectives, purposes and programmes shall not contravene, or be inconsistent with, any provisions of this Constitution”. While section 46 (1) of the aforesaid Constitution stipulates that no person shall hold office as president for more than two terms of five years each whether the terms are consecutive”. By December 2017, president Koroma would have completed his two terms of five years. In effect, section 35 (2) and 46 (1) of the aforesaid Constitution, president Ernest Bai Koroma will no longer be qualified to be elected as president of this country. By implication, president Koroma should not continue as chairman and leader of the APC unless the APC constitution is amended.
So if the APC resolved to select/elect president Koroma chairman and leader with the view of him continuing to provide political leadership for the party, then the APC shall be disqualified from taking part in the next elections in 2018. The APC can only be qualified to take part in the next elections with president Koroma as chairman and leader if the party shall amend it Constitution to have its flag bearer different from the chairman and leader.
Important to note here is that, the majority of of Sierra Leoneans have spoken clearly during the country’s Constitutional review process, that they don’t want any change to section 35 (2). President Koroma and the APC must ensure a peaceful and a cohesive Sierra Leone at least as the only legacy to his credit.
Any attempt to circumvent the work of the country’s Constitutional review process thereby undermining the country’s fragile democracy will meet STIFF RESISTANCE.