Candidates to face-off in parliamentary debate
July 19, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Candidates vying for the vacant parliamentary seat at Constituency 110 in the Western Rural District will have the chance of telling voters their plans for the constituency if they are voted for in the upcoming parliamentary by-election debate.
Organized by the Africa Young Voices (AYV) Media Empire and partners, the debate will be hosted on August 18, 2019 at the institution’s studio.
Candidates from the ruling Sierra Leone people’s Party (SLPP), All People’s Congress (APC) Unity Party and the National Grand Coalition have agreed to speak no issues affecting the lives of people living in the said constituency.
The vacancy was created following a High Court petition ruling on 31st May, 2019, which ordered a re-run election for the parliamentary seat at Constituency 110 that was initially won by Khadijatu Davies of the main opposition All People’s Congress.
Meanwhile, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) had announced August 24, 2019 as the day for the poll.
According to the Director of News and Current Affairs at AYV, Samuel Wise Bangura, the rationale behind the debate is to provide the space for the candidates to articulate their vision, policies and plans in line with the needs of the constituency.
He told reporters yesterday that the debate will give eligible voters in the constituency the opportunity to measure the policies and plans of Femi Claudius Cole of UP, Josephine Jackson of the SLPP, Kadijatu Davies of the APC and Ibrahim Kabba of the NGC.
He disclosed that in consultation with the candidates, they have crafted six thematic areas around which questions will be drawn, citing sand mining, fishing, education, women and youth empowerment and health and sanitation.
“We have position ourselves to using information and communication for development and also broaden the civic space and increase participation of citizens in the democratic processes of Sierra Leone. We want to move away from inviting the politicians and candidates to come and talk about their vision in the studio to creating a platform where there will be a proper interface between those asking to represent them and the people themselves,” he said.
He added that the debate will be screened live so that those who will not be fortunate to witness the event will have the chance of watching or listening to it on television and other radio stations.
Registering her commitment, Femi Claudius Cole said: “I am happy to have this opportunity to debate because it is very good. I am totally committed to it and I will be here on time.”
She said they were totally in agreement with the venue for the debate, taking into account security and other issues, while hoping that residents will have the chance to make informed decision after the debate.
While welcoming the chance to debate on issues, Kadijatu Davies of the APC said her appearance will be determined by a decision from her party.