…But SLPP Cries Foul
July 31, 2019
Following the violence that erupted between supporters of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the All Peoples Congress (APC) on Monday evening at Hamilton, the Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC) has with immediate effect suspended all political rallies ahead of the forthcoming by-election in Constituency 110, Western Rural District.
But a letter from the ruling SLPP signed by the Secretary General of the party and addressed to the Chairman of PPRC states that “I write to register our disappointment and frustration over your decision to interfere with our official campaign date, which we had adequately prepared to rally and show the overwhelming support our candidate has in constituency 110.”
However, the press statement from the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) cited Section 35(2) of the 1991 Constitution and Section (6)(1)(2 a&e) of its Act, noting that the decision was reached at in consultation with the Office of National Security (ONS) and that of the National Electoral Commission(NEC).
The statement said the decision was informed by the violence that characterized the rally of the main opposition APC on Monday 29th July, which ‘culminated into personal attacks and destruction of private property in the said Constituency’.
The commission said they viewed the ‘unfortunate events’ with ‘distaste’ and that the said act contravenes the provisions of the 1991 Constitution, the Code of Conduct for Political candidates and supporters and other election management acts.
“In the interim, the campaign calendar issued by NEC remains valid, on condition that parties can only now campaign on their respective dates, in a designated location within the constituency i.e town halls, barrays or open fields and must inform the police of the location at least 24hrs before the event,” the statement notes.
Meanwhile, the letter from the SLPP claimed that “the incident of 29th July 2019 has been widely reported and clearly established that the APC party and their supporters went to the residence of our candidate, pelted her house and set her vehicle on fire. I have written a letter of complaint and called upon you and other relevant authorities to look into the matter and bring the wrong doers to book.”
“Instead of dealing with the situation with the seriousness it deserves, you have taken the very lazy approach by reducing our campaign to designated locations in the constituency. The entire country saw yesterday the barbaric display of the APC which led to the destruction of property and the wounding of innocent Sierra Leoneans,” the letter reads.
It was reported that police arrested and detained the Deputy Organising Secretary of APC, Karamoh Kabba, accusing him of complicity in the violence.