The disruptive actions of the SLPP : An impediment to democratic progress in Sierra Leone

*The Disruptive Actions of the SLPP Party: An Impediment to Democratic Progress in Sierra Leone*

*By El Sam*

Sierra Leone, a nation once known for its turbulent history of political violence and corruption, had made significant strides towards democratic progress in recent years. However, the recent actions of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), led by President Maada Bio, have caused serious concerns about the country’s future. The SLPP’s refusal to adhere to the Terms of Reference and the signed Agreement on National Unity, as well as their manipulation of the electoral process, has perpetuated a bad governance system that needs to be addressed.

The recent stalemate in the Tripartite Committee, responsible for verifying the results of the June 24, 2023 multi-tier elections, is a clear example of the SLPP’s disruptive actions. The APC, the main opposition party, has rightfully rejected the results and participated in internationally mediated cross-party dialogue in an effort to foster peace and national unity. However, the SLPP government has reneged on its promises and refused to take the necessary steps to ensure the full implementation of the National Unity Agreement. In addition, the SLPP has hindered the work of the Tripartite Committee by aiding and abetting the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone’s (ECSL) refusal to release vital data and information needed for a comprehensive review of the election results.

The APC, a party that has honored all its commitments, including a return to governance and active participation in the Tripartite Committee, has been met with obstacles at every turn. Despite interventions from development partners and friends of Sierra Leone, the ECSL has failed to produce the requested documents, hindering the Committee’s ability to conduct a thorough examination. This is a clear violation of the Committee’s mandate, which explicitly states their right to access all relevant documents and information.

It is evident that the SLPP’s actions are a direct threat to the country’s democratic progress and the people’s right to choose their leaders freely. The APC’s decision to suspend its participation in the Tripartite Committee is a necessary step to demand transparency and accountability in the electoral process. As a responsible political party, the APC has a duty to fight for electoral justice and the adherence to international democratic standards.

In conclusion, the SLPP’s disruptive actions have caused a setback in Sierra Leone’s democratic progress and have further worsened the lives of its citizens. The APC urges the International Peace and Democratic Body to keep an eye on this situation and bring about sincere and sound judgments from the Tripartite Committee. Furthermore, we call upon our development partners to support us in our pursuit of electoral reforms and justice. Democracy is not a privilege, but a right, and the citizens of Sierra Leone deserve nothing less than free and fair elections.

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