Samura Kamara, Bio, Kandeh, Sam-Sumana face one another
February 15, 2018 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Six of the sixteen presidential candidates contesting the March 7 multitier elections will today face one another at the Bintumani International Conference Centre in Freetown- to debate on critical issues bordering on the development of Sierra Leone.
The Sierra Leone Presidential Debate 2018 is being organised by the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and the Sierra Leone Decide 2018 Series from Africa Young Voices (AYV), among others.
The All People’s Congress party (APC), Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), National Grand Coalition party (NGC), Coalition for Change (C4C), Citizens Democratic Party (CDP) and Alliance Democratic Party (ADP) met the set criteria, having filed in above 25% of parliamentary candidates for the election.
The debate, which will be transmitted live by AYV television and radio, Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) radio and television, Star television and over forty radio stations across the country via the Independent Radio Network, will focus on three broad thematic areas; Economy and Inclusive governance, Human Resources Development and ‘Leh we push Salone go bifo.’
It seeks to assist the electorate make a better-informed choice among candidates contending for office in 7 March polls, thereby bolstering the country’s democratic progression.
Additionally, the debate provides a platform for people at home and abroad, to hear how issues they are concerned about are addressed by Dr. Samura Kamara of the APC, Julius Maada Bio-SLPP, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella-NGC, Alhaji Musa Tarawally-CDP, Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana-C4C and Mohamed Kamaraimba Mansaray of the ADP.
However, it remains to be seen whether the debate will create the required impact that will help voters, especially the first timers, to make informed decisions in the ballot box come March 7.
Spokesperson of the Presidential Debate Committee, Ransford Wright, had explained that the selection of the six political parties was done after consultations with representatives of the parties that signed a public commitment to participate in the debate.
“We resolved during those consultations that a debate with sixteen presidential candidates will be unproductive and the desired objective would not be achieved,” he said.
According to him, having all sixteen candidates on stage during a debate, key issues will not be addressed in an accurate manner, coupled with the fact that candidates will not have enough time to deliver their discourse thoroughly.
“The debate will be in a format of case studies, where the real life experience will be compiled with candidates required to demonstrate how their policies will affect the lives of the common man. Equal amount of time will be allocated to each candidate to express themselves,” Wright added.