March 28, 2018 By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
As part of their media monitoring engagement, the National Elections Watch (NEW) has in a press statement issued yesterday condemned inflammatory statements made by political leaders in the media.
“Our attention has been drawn to recent statements made by the presidential candidate of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio whilst responding to the party’s position relating to recent interim injunction,” the release states.
They release condemned a statement allegedly made by the National Publicity Secretary of the SLPP, Lahai Lawrence Leema, on the “AYV program, insinuating the possibility of a coup d’état in the event that the run–off election do not take place on March 27, as initially earmarked by the National Electoral Commission.
“New urges all political party leaders to respect the ECOWAS protocol on Democracy and Good Governance as stated in section 1:article 1(b)” Every ascension to power must be made through free, fair and transparent elections and (c) Zero tolerance for power obtained or maintained by unconstitutional means,” the release adds.
According to the release, as the country moves to another critical stage of the electoral process – the presidential runoff, now slated for 31 March, although there were issues to address in view of the conduct of the run-off presidential election, it was incumbent on all stakeholders to restrain themselves and dialogue their way to a successful conclusion of the electoral process.
NEW is a coalition of local and international organisations in Sierra Leone with a common objective of supporting free, fair and peaceful elections.