-avers Robin Fallay
June 21 2016 By Alusine Sesay
Reacting to allegation of violence perpetuated by ruling party supporters in parliamentary bye-election campaign in Constituency 001 in Kailahun District, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Peoples Congress (APC) has denied that that none of their supporters was involved in any kind of violence in the opposition stronghold, and that membership of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) were acting out of share desperation to regain the enviable seat.
“They are desperate to regain that seat at all cost and now that they have seen the clear writing on the wall that the people of Kailahun have lost trust in them, they have reverted to violence activities,” he averred.
The Constituency 001 Parliamentary bye-election has been slated for 9 July, 2016 and the two major political parties have put up female candidates to contest the seat.
The candidate for the main opposition SLPP is Madam Navo Kaikai. She contested against the late Hon. Alice Foyah for the SLPP party symbol in the same constituency, in the 2012 parliamentary election, but lost.
The said seat was declared vacant after the death of Hon. Patrick Foyah, who replaced his late wife, Hon. Alice Foyah, as lawmaker for the constituency.
The ruling APC on the other hand has put up Haja Nasratu Jalloh, who hails from the district.
Both parties are hoping to win the upcoming bye-election although the constituency is traditionally an SLPP stronghold.
According to Robin Fallay, the SLPP campaign rally went on interrupted and that their APC supporters were allegedly attacked by some supporters of the main opposition who were jittery about their crowd during the rally.
“They never expected such support and crowd for APC in the constituency. Their campaign went on very well and interrupted. Nobody disturbed or abused them and they were only scared after the APC pulled huge support to their surprise,” he said.
But the SLPP’s Navo Kaikai was on radio alleging that her supporters were intimidated by supporters of the ruling party, whose candidate Haja Nasratu Jalloh was moving about with armed military guards.
Fallay though denied that no APC supporter abused or attacked members of the SLPP, but claimed the SLPP was gripped by a political shock wave because what he referred to as significant inroads of the ruling APC in their [SLPP] stronghold.
He however noted that the party would be satisfied with and accept any result as long as the election was free and fair.
Meanwhile, the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), which regulate the conduct of political parties, among other functions, has in a terse statement condemned violence allegedly perpetrated by political operatives, although it failed to name and shame any party in particular. It nonetheless called on “the Sierra Leone Police to investigate and bring to book those involved in the incidents in Lunsar and Kailahun District.”