By Alhaji Haruna Sani
Declaration by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) to use the District Block and Proportional Representation (PR) system for the conduct of the June 24th, 20203 elections has received a wider condemnation mainly from the main opposition All Peoples’ Congress (APC) party and other interested individuals across the country.
A press release from the ECSL indicated that the commission was directed by President Bio to use the PR system for the conduct of the June 24 elections. The October 21st ECSL presser indicated that the President derives the powers of his decision from Section 38 (A) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone as amended in 2001, referencing Sub Section 3 of Section 38.
In reaction to the announcement, a press release from the APC Interim Transitional Governance Council expressed shock and dismay over the announcement, charging that the president’s decision was done without strict adherence to relevant provisions and principles of the Sierra Leone Constitution.
“The All People’s Congress views this as a gross violation of the Sierra Leone constitution and therefore condemns in the strongest terms possible, the Commission’s decision to revert to the District Block system when there are existing constituencies. We are vigorously opposed to the attempt by the Executive to regulate laws governing the conduct of general elections, few months before the scheduled date for the next general elections,” the statement reads.
The statement noted that the president was ill advised and called on him to reverse his directives, thus soliciting the intervention of the international partners and the diplomatic community for an amicable resolution.
Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, senior member of the APC twitted that the press statement from ECSL was unfortunate – “We challenge the directive. Courts are put on test. Again why provoke constitutional crisis.
The leadership of the National Grand Coalition Party also stated they have taken note of the ECSL press release regarding the District Block system, adding that the Chairman and Leader will convene an emergency National Officers meeting to consider the matter as soon as possible.