May 2, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
National Organizing Secretary for the Citizens Democratic Party (CDP), Julius Augustine Donnie, has disclosed that his party would be conducting lower level elections across the 14 political districts of Sierra Leone in May this year.
He made the above disclosure to Concord Times in Freetown last Friday, 28th April, 2017, in an exclusive interview, stating that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party would meet in the first week of May to put plans together for the conduct of the lower level elections.
He added, “After the lower level elections, NEC will decide when to go into convention in which we will elect a flagbearer that will take the party to State House come March 2018.”
“We will start the lower level elections in all the districts in the northern, eastern, and southern and end the exercise in the Western Area,” he disclosed.
He said the strength of CDP’s membership spreads across the country, boasting that in the 2012 general elections, CDP came fourth with 24,658 valid votes cast totaling to one percent (1%) of the total votes cast.
He added that CDP is well known throughout the country and that they would have to capitalize on the gains they made in the 2012 elections to get more votes in the 2018 general elections.
Asked how prepared is the CDP for the forthcoming elections, the National Organizing Secretary said even though they are a financially-weak party, they were busy galvanizing grassroots support in order to create a very big impact in the forthcoming general elections.
“We meet people one-on-one and solicit their support. We have been doing massive education to the youth, who think they have been left out. The system is not in favour of the youth at all. That is evident in the influx of graduates who are still unemployed,” he said.
He added, “Employers are demanding five or more years of experience from our youth when they advertise jobs. But the reality is that the youth have never been employed. How can they gain experience?”
He said when CDP gets to State House in March 2018; it would change the status quo of the youth of Sierra Leone, adding that CDP would enhance social justice for all.
Quizzed on CDP’s take on the just concluded voter registration, the National Organizing Secretary disclosed that the first two weeks of the voter registration exercise was marred by lots of problems, but with persistent interventions, the problems were surmounted, while the National Electoral Commission (NEC) extended the closing date to April 30.
“We have seen huge turnout of registrants in last few weeks. As of 25th April, 2017, NEC has registered over three million voters. As a party, we give kudus to NEC for listening to our call for the extension,” he said.