SLAJ President Emphasizes Importance of Opposition Parties in Sierra Leonean Democracy

Ahmed Sahid Nasralla.jpg

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), took center stage at the NGC symposium held at Roberts Hall, Freetown, on April 12th and 13th, 2024. Addressing the gathering on the theme, “NGC: Finding the Path to True Democracy in Sierra Leone,” Ahmed Sahid Nasralla delivered an insightful discourse on the pivotal role of opposition parties in the nation’s democratic landscape.

In his address, he commenced by defining the essence of a political party, stressing its function within a democratic framework to represent the people’s interests and pursue governance through electoral processes. He further underscored the significance of opposition parties, highlighting their role as alternatives to ruling entities and their responsibility in advocating for citizens’ rights and contributing to democratic discourse.

Reflecting on Sierra Leone’s political history, the SLAJ President traced the evolution of opposition politics since independence, emphasizing their crucial role in challenging incumbent regimes and driving political reform. From the early years of independence marked by the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the emergence of the All People’s Congress (APC) as a formidable opposition, to the advent of newer political entities like the National Grand Alliance (NGC), he provided insights into the dynamics of opposition politics in the country.

Expounding on the responsibilities of opposition parties, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla emphasized their role as “Governments in waiting,” stressing the importance of preparedness and proactive policy formulation to address societal challenges. He emphasized the need for constructive engagement with ruling Governments, advocating for robust dialogue and collaboration to foster national development.

Addressing the challenges faced by opposition parties, he highlighted issues such as political intimidation, resource constraints and internal fragmentation. Despite these hurdles, he also outlined opportunities for opposition parties, including the cultivation of genuine motives, organizational strength, compelling policy platforms and strategic alliances to enhance electoral prospects and promote national interests.

He concluded by reaffirming the notion that political parties are public assets, belonging to the people rather than individual leaders further urging citizens to actively engage in shaping the political landscape as well as emphasizing the enduring nature of political institutions beyond transient leadership. His address really resonated with attendees, offering valuable insights into the role of opposition parties in nurturing democracy in Sierra Leone.

[Note: Nasralla’s remarks were delivered at the NGC symposium on April 12th and 13th, 2024, at Roberts Hall, Freetown, under the theme “NGC: Finding the Path to True Democracy in Sierra Leone.”]



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