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 Peaceful Transition…

Citizens call on President Koroma to emulate predecessor

April 4, 2018 By Yusufu S. Bangura

Protesters want President Koroma to preside over a peaceful transition

Hundreds of protesters yesterday called on President Ernest Bai Koroma to take a stance in the electioneering process to emulate late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, who in 2007 ensured the conduct of free, fair and credible elections before he left office.

The protesters gathered in front of the main Law Court Building on Siaka Stevens Street in Freetown displaying placards with different inscriptions that read ‘democracy is the answer for Sierra Leone’, ‘the judiciary must not be used as a political tool’, ‘we want school and businesses to reopen’, ‘we need election result now’, and ‘Sierra Leone is bigger than any political party’.

Apparently, the protesters, predominantly youth, gathered outside the court’s precinct after they got intelligence that agents of one of the political parties would file an action to restrain the electoral body NEC from announcing the election result.

Speaking to Concord Times in an interview during the protest, Martin Junior Lissa said they came out to protest because they had been informed that the ruling All Peoples Congress was determined to interfere with the electioneering process.

“We want the run-off election result out today (Tuesday) because we heard information going round that the ruling All People Congress (APC) want to file for an injunction in the High Court of Sierra Leone restraining the National Electoral Commission from announcing the presidential run-off result,” he said.

He told our reporter that they decided to stage the protest in front of the main Law Court building because it was the right place as any injunction to restrain NEC from announcing the final result could only be granted by a judge in that court.

Also speaking, one Paul Gbamino Jr., who described himself as Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party branch in France, said the protest was organised by various groups, including pupils awaiting to write the West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

He said the election has brought everything, including education and businesses to a standstill, thus they call on the Judiciary of Sierra Leone to refused to be used to delay the pronouncement of the result by the National Returning Officer, Nfa Alie Conteh.

However, as at press time yesterday, there was no confirmation that papers were filed at the court’s registry to initiate another action aimed to preventing the National Returning Officer, Mohamed Nfa Alie Conteh, from announcing the winner of the hotly contested poll.

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