Citizens Demand Fair Play in Presidential Elections: Call for Resignation of Government Officials

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

Citizens have called for fairness and transparency within Sierra Leone’s political system in the upcoming presidential elections against the backdrop of past electoral injustices and undue advantages. They maintained that all those aspiring to run for the presidency must resign from their Government positions and cease utilizing public funds for their campaigns.

The call for equitable treatment stems from a history marked by allegations of undue advantage and manipulation within the political arena. Reflecting on past elections, these concerned citizens recall instances where incumbents maintained a tight grip on power, influencing party nominations to favor their preferred candidates. Such practices, they argue, stifled genuine competition and disenfranchised the electorate.

One poignant example cited is the 2007 presidential race, where President Kabbah’s endorsement of his Vice President,  Solomon Berewa popularly known as Solo B., as the Flagbearer for the ruling party raised concerns of bias and unfair advantage. Many believe that Solo B.’s ascension to candidacy was facilitated by his position within the Government, granting him undue leverage over other more popular and deserving contenders. The aftermath of this perceived manipulation left a bitter legacy of discontent among party members and cast a shadow over the integrity of the electoral process.

“The 2007 presidential race stands as a stark reminder, where allegations of bias and unfair advantage marred the electoral process,” they emphasized saying President Kabbah’s endorsement of his Vice President raised concerns of manipulation, leaving a legacy of discontent and disillusionment among citizens and particularly SLPP supporters.

Determined not to repeat past mistakes, citizens are now looking to President Bio to uphold principles of fairness and impartiality. They urge the President to ensure a level playing field by implementing measures to prevent Government officials from leveraging their positions for personal political gain. Specifically, they call for the immediate resignation of any Government official who declares their intention to seek the presidency, thereby eliminating any potential conflicts of interest.

Making reference to the recent political transition in Senegal they argued that it serves as a poignant reminder of the dangers of political manipulation adding that President Julius Maada Bio, as the leader of the ruling party, must heed to that lesson.

They also pointed out that the attempt by former President Macky Sall to manipulate the political landscape backfired, resulting in turmoil and ultimately paving the way for opposition victory. According to them Sierra Leone cannot afford to tread a similar path adding that history bears witness to the repercussions of allowing incumbents to wield undue influence over party nominations.

Central to their demands is the elimination of practices that could undermine the democratic process, such as the use of political power to intimidate delegates or manipulate electoral institutions.  The citizens emphasize the importance of a transparent and inclusive electoral environment, where all aspirants and their supporters can participate without fear of reprisal or favoritism.

In issuing this plea, the citizens hope to set a new precedent for Sierra Leonean politics, one characterized by integrity, accountability, and genuine competition.

They made a passionate appeal to President Bio to seize this opportunity to leave a lasting legacy as a champion of democratic principles, transcending partisan interests for the collective good of the nation. As they look towards the future, citizens remain steadfast in their commitment to upholding the ideals of fairness and justice in the electoral process.


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