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I.B Kargbo kicks against local council policy, urges President Bio to protect democracy

April 16, 2021

By Jariatu S. Jusu

Hon. I.B. Kargbo questioned by CID in connection with Lebanon waste  allegations – Cocorioko
Hon. I. B. Karbgo

Deputy Leader of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) party in Parliament has stated that the APC party will categorically not accept the proposed local council policy, which provides for local council elections to be conducted on a non-partisan basis, thus urging President Julius Maada Bio to protect the democracy of the country in the best way he could.

Speaking in a press conference held at his office at Wellington Street in Freetown, Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said the move is totally against the spirit of democracy

“One thing I am saying is that, I am pleading for President Bio to note that the democracy of the country should be protected and should be done to the extent that, it should not interfere with already legislations that have been working,” he urged.

He said the local council election policies put together have been working and that it will cause a lot of problems for the people and the state if any change is attempted to be made.

He said democracy as per the national Constitution is competitive politics and that, “we are competing with each other and the reason why political parties are around is to give us an opportunity to contest and take part in the political process.

He questioned that should elections be conducted on a non-political basis, what chance would smaller political parties have to participate in the process?

He said the National Grand Coalition (NGC), for instance, would not be able to win the Presidency but that they may be able to win a seat for Chairmanship or Mayorship. 

 “I know in 2007, late President Kabbah attempted to bring this policy of conducting local councils elections on a non-party basis, a good number of us protested as that is not in the spirit of democracy. Such has never happened in most countries that I have visited. We told him that if we are to develop the democratic process, we must ensure that all elections conducted should are done competitively and he agreed and we came back to a multi-party election for local council election,” he recalled.

He said should the country move in a direction of persistent democracy, it is required that every local council, parliamentary and presidential elections be conducted and competed for.

“Our fear is that, if we begin to encourage a system that allows election to be conducted on a non-party basis, we are gravitating gradually to a one party system. After the local council, a vindictive future President would now say, the Parliamentary elections would be conducted without going through a party since we have tried the local council and it succeeded and the next stage would then be the Presidential elections,” he said.

Hon. Kargbo further explained that the national Constitution states that for one to contest as a Presidential candidate, the individual must belong to a party, adding that with the introduction of such political system the democracy of the state will simply be bastardized.

He said the APC has cooperated with the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP)  to a large extent as they have taken their cases to Parliament, competed with them and have yet conceded to quite a number of things.

He said the APC have been supporting the approval of policies and many others that are of good to the people of the country, but has at the same time not supported them on policies that are not in the interest of the Ssate.

He said the proposed policy will affect the peace of the country and its democracy; hence they will challenge it up to the International Court of Justice.

 “I think some of us will have to move Private Member motion in Parliament to challenge some of these legislations that we think are not in favour of the public, especially this local council policy which they think must be reduced to a non-party affair. We are not going to accept it and we will not allow the public to do likewise. We will make sure to convince the government that it is wrong,” he emphasised.

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