By Alhaji Haruna Sani
Presidential candidates for the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Party and the People’s Democratic Party have successfully gone through the nomination process at the Electoral Commission Sierra Leone (ECSL) Headquarters on Tower Hill in Freetown.
The two presidential candidates and their running mates were successfully approved and certified to contest the June 24 elections.
UDM-Mohamed Sowa Turay and his Vice Presidential Aspirant, Olivette Walker and PDP-Prince Coker and his Vice Presidential candidate, Ibrahim Jalloh were successfully nominated and approved by ECSL following the successful nomination of Dr. Samura Kamara and Chernor Maju Bah of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) party on May 1st and the incumbent, President Julius Maada Bio and Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) on May 2nd.
Presidential Nomination is the legal process by which ECSL screens qualified persons for presidential elections recommended by political parties, approves their candidacy, and prints their names and photos on the ballot papers.
The two candidates assured the Chief Electoral Commissioner of their commitment to peace during and after the June 24 general elections. Mohamed Sowa Turay emphasised his commitment to unifying a sharply divided country, while also tackling the current economic challenges.
He said that the current economic challenge Sierra Leone is currently facing are not a peculiar, but a global crisis that he is committed to tackling when he attains the seat of presidency.
Prince Coker, the PDP Presidential Candidate, expressed his confidence in winning the election and providing solutions to tackling economic challenges.
He also pointed out that People are tired of both the APC and SLPP, adding that as the youngest presidential aspirant, he was confident of winning the June 24 presidential elections.
The UDM Party was formed by Mohamed Bangura, former Leader and flag bearer who later defected to the APC and became member of the recently dissolved parliament for Constituency 066 Karene district.
The PDP was formed by Thaimu Bangura (died 1999) who was a government minister from 1980 to 1982 and again from 1996 to 1999. Bangura was the National Leader of the People’s Democratic Party of Sierra Leone as well as their presidential candidate in the 1996 elections.
Thaimu Bangura finished 3rd behind winner president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the SLPP and John Karefa-Smart of the UNPP with 16.07% of the initial round of voting.
After a long time in the political wilderness, PDP was resuscitated by Prince Coker, the Chairman and Leader of PDP “Sorbeh”.
Prince is also the chairman of the All Political Parties Association (APPA).