By Alhaji Haruna Sani
The Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) on May 5 and 6 successfully endorsed the nomination of four presidential candidates and their running mates.
The four political parties included the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the United National People’s Party (UNPP), the Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP), Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP) and the Republic National and Independent Party (ReNIP).
Mohamed C. Bah, Presidential Candidate and Madam Saudatu Turay as his running mate for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) were nominated and endorsed on May 5, while the United National People’s Party (UNPP), the Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP) and the Republic National Independent Party (ReNIP) endorsed Dr. Saa Henry Kabuta and Gabriel Samuka, Abdulah D. Saccoh and Alice K. Pyne and Bresford Victor Williams and Kadija Bangura as presidential and vice presidential candidates were respectively nominated and endorsed by ECSL on Saturday May 6.
The four political parties are the latest to join five other political parties including the APC, SLPP, UDM, PDP and PLP that had gone through nomination at the ECSL Headquarters.
The Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed K. Konneh, expressed his commitment to ensuring peaceful, free, and fair elections.
According to the ECSL, the endorsement is part of the requirements that all political parties cleared to contest the June 2023 elections by the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) must meet.
The Presidential Nomination is a legal process that involves screening the candidates recommended by political parties, approving their candidacy, and printing their names on the ballot paper.
All four Presidential aspirants assured ECSL and by extension the people of Sierra Leone of their unwavering commitment to peace, stability and tranquility in the interest of national development. The three aspirants promised to move the nation from the present economic mess to an economic viability for the betterment of the nation.
NDA founders created the party with a vision to rebuilding Sierra Leone on the foundation of exemplary leadership. The party committed to helping build a strong economy, offer opportunities for quality education, create jobs for Sierra Leoneans, secure quality health care for all, help fight global terrorism, unite the nation, and make tribalism a thing of the past.
Since its formation, the party had twice withdrew its candidacy in support of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP)
In August 2007 general election, the party did not win any seat in parliament and its presidential candidates, Amadu Jalloh, won only 17,748 votes (0.96%).
The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) was organized in 1991 by Foday Sankoh and two partners, Abu Kanu and Rashid Mansaray, along with financial assistance from future Liberian leader Charles Taylor.
Its goal was to overthrow the dictatorial government of Sierra Leone, headed by President Joseph Saidu Momoh.
The United National People’s Party is a political party formed in 1996. The UNPP received 21.6% of the votes in the parliamentary election, winning 17 of the 68 seats. UNPP candidate John Karefa-Smart finished second to former and late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in the first and second rounds of voting, receiving 22.62% and 40.5%.
In the election held on 14 May, 2002, the party won 1.3% of popular votes and no seats in parliament, while its candidate in the presidential election, Karefa-Smart, won 1.0% of the vote.
In the August 2007 general elections, the party did not win any seats in parliament, and its presidential candidate, Abdul Kady Karim (whose running mate was Mohamed Sei, took seventh and last place with 7,260 votes, 0.39% of the total
The Republic National Independent Party (ReNIP) was formed in 2017. On January 7th, 2018, ReNIP was the last political party that the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) gave clearance to contest the 2018 elections, and during the election the party secured 2, 555 votes nationwide, with 0.10% and no seat in parliament.