February 23, 2018 By Alusine Sesay
Executive Director of the Institute for Governance Reforms (IRG), Andrew Lavalie, has in no uncertain terms condemned recent political violence that took place in the home town of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) Presidential candidate, Dr.Samura Kamara and other parts of the country, but cautioned that the issue should not be hyped “because the level of violence in this election is very low compared to previous elections.”
“We have not witnessed cases where political party offices are burnt down or attacked. All the violence cases we are witnessing now are just isolated cases, so we should not hype it to create tension,” he said.
He called on the ruling APC to renounce violence especially when they are the governing party, expressing fear about the expressed interest of the incumbent in retaining power.
“We have seen cases where the president had made pronouncement that he would hand over power to the Presidential Candidate of his party. We have to be careful that the president’s pronouncement does not weigh pressure on instuitions such as the police and the National Electoral commission to influence the outcome of the elections,” he said.
He noted that they as civil society activists would not sit by and see that democracy murdered in Sierra Leone.
It could be recalled that Presidential Candidate of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) confirmed that his motorcade was on Tuesday attacked by members and supporters of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) in Kamalo, Karene district, northern Sierra Leone.
But the APC had denied any wrong doing and instead put the blame on the SLPP.
“In Kamalo, SLPP decided to place SLPP campaign materials on structures owned and erected by Dr. Samura Kamara. On being warned against these provocative acts, they moved straight to Samura Kamara’s mother raining insults and tearing posters,” said the release.
Meanwhile, there have been calls from various quarters including religious groups and civil society organizations for a peaceful conduct and outcome of the March 7th multitier elections.