By State House Communication Unit
John Dramani Mahama, former president of the Republic of Ghana and delegation this morning, Tuesday 27 February, paid a courtesy call on President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House in Freetown.
Explaining the purpose of visit, Chairman of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) Patrick O. Hamilton, who led the delegation, reported that President Mahama is in the country to dialogue with political parties and leaders to respect the ongoing electioneering process and at the same time accept the outcome of the elections results. He used the occasion to present to President Koroma what he referred to as “five eminent persons” appointed by his Commission as mediation team especially after the elections.
In his brief remarks, President Mahama thanked President Koroma for the strong friendship they have enjoyed over the years and commended him for putting Sierra Leone on the path of economic growth thereby referencing the period when the country was considered as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. He spoke of the invitation he had received from PPRC to come and dialogue with political parties and flag bearer aspirants which, he said, he is willing to do; to share his experiences and ask them not only to honor the electioneering process but also accept the outcome.
Addressing the delegation, President Koroma welcomed the former president to Sierra Leone and thanked the PPRC for the invitation. He recounted elections that Sierra Leone as a country had observed from 1996 to 2012. Although there were challenges in past elections, he however reported on the considerable improvements that the National Electoral Commission (NEC) has effected so far. This, he said, prompted him to insist, when he assumed power in 2007, that the appointments of NEC commissioners should not be done outside the Commission.
The president informed of the readiness of political parties to go into elections and expressed delight that political parties have settled their internal problems and put forward their candidates to contest the March 7 elections. He however urged political leaders to be sensitive to the critical nature of transitional elections and therefore avoid any practices that would undermine the electioneering process.
Meanwhile, President Koroma used the opportunity to thank Mr Mahama for his supportive role towards Sierra Leone’s fight against the Ebola virus as the then Chairman of ECOWAS. He also used the occasion to congratulate the body of eminent persons appointed by PPRC as mediation team.