March 26, 2018 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has described the interim injunction restraining the National Electoral Commission from conducting Tuesday’s presidential run-off election as ‘a deliberate ploy by President Ernest Bai Koroma to illegally extend his tenure and that of his political party against the wishes of the people.’
On Saturday, March 24, Judge Abdul Rahman Mansaray granted an interim injunction restraining the country’s electoral body from going ahead to conduct the election as planned, pending the hearing and determination of a matter initiated by Ibrahim Sorie Koroma, a member of the ruling All Peoples Congress.
Some sections of the public are of the view that even if the court sets aside the interim injunction today, NEC will find very difficult to get their materials to polling centres, especially in the provincial areas.
In a press release signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the SLPP, Lahai Lawrence Leema, he reiterated their earlier position that the party would not countenance any attempt to delay the election, adding that NEC and the two parties contesting the run-off have discussed and negotiated issues of disagreement, with preparation far advanced to conduct the election on Tuesday.
“All indications are that President Koroma will not hand over power without the involvement of the international community as he has compromised the efficacy of all state institutions, including the judiciary,” the release stated.
According to the SLPP, any deferment of the presidential run-off would add more costs to an already impoverished state and unavoidable burden on development partners.
Also, the party, which polled 43.3% in the first round result, noted that the postponement would have a negative effect on the education of children, cost to business, investment and national security.
“We wish to remind the nation that President Koroma’s tenure has ended and there is no constitutional and other basis for him to continue in office. We call on the presiding judge in the best interest of the public to vacate the interim injunction forthwith to allow the election to go ahead as schedule,” the SLPP urged.
He claimed that the president has in the recent past made various attempts to manipulate the system in an effort to continue to stay in office through his infamous “more time”.
The SLPP presidential candidate, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, leads the aspirant for the ruling APC, Dr. Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara, by more than 14,000 votes going into the crucial run-off.