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KABS KANU
Reply with quote  #1 

PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA  gave the nation a Valentine’s Day treat last week  by announcing the date for the next Presidential, Legislative and Local Council  Elections. In a nation-wide broadcast , President Koroma announced that the elections will be held on March 7, 2018.  We bring you the full address by the President :

Address by His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma to the Nation on the 2018 General Elections February 14th, 2017

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, on 10th November 2011, I caused my office to announce the dates for the 2012 Local Council and Parliamentary elections; it was little over a year to those elections. Today, as envisioned by our Constitution, and in line with established practice, I have again instructed my office to put forth a public notice announcing that parliamentary and local council elections will be held a little over one year from now, on March 7th, 2018. Having consulted with me, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) will also announce that the presidential elections shall take place on the same date. With my Government’s support, NEC and the National Registration Commission have further indicated their readiness to commence registration for electoral and related activities.

PRESIDENT-KOROMA-STATISTICS

 

My Government is also in the concluding phase of a White Paper for a new constitution. As provided by law, this will be tabled in Parliament in due course. If enacted by Parliament and in line with ECOWAS protocols on democracy, a referendum on the new constitution will take place before the end of September this year.

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, our country is building a democracy. We have held regular elections since 1996. During every one of our four general elections since that year, we have moved forward to take charge of our destiny, strengthen our democratic agencies and create greater awareness on the relevance of participation for everybody, in every town, in every district and every region of our country. Today, I call on all Sierra Leoneans to continue to support this strengthening of our democracy. And no better way exists to render this support than in ensuring that we all register, that we all show discipline and civility, that we obey the rules and regulations set forth for the conduct of free and fair elections. Registration is the first step to making sure that your preferences are accurately reflected in the new constitution, and that the new government enjoys your mandate.

Democratic discipline requires the awareness that if you belong to a party, that party is bigger than you. The place of political parties in our constitution is sacrosanct; no member of a political party is above the rules and regulations of his or her party; but no political party is above the laws of our country. As President, I am under oath to maintain law and order, peace, security, and the democratic character of the Republic of Sierra Leone. And I will use all the powers vested in my office to continue to ensure peace, security, law and order during the electoral cycle.

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, announcement of the dates for elections is not an announcement for the start of the campaign period. The commencement of the campaign period will be announced by NEC. When that time comes, we expect every party and every individual to follow the rules and regulations set forth by the appropriate authorities. Political activity is no excuse for breaking the law. My government is determined to ensure peaceful and orderly elections; and anyone caught disturbing the peace or violating the laws in the name of campaigning or other political activities will meet the full force of the law.

We applaud our international friends for their continued support to the consolidation of our democracy. Elections are a tedious process; they require patience, tenacity and understanding of a country’s social and political complexities. We have demonstrated our commitment to free and fair elections; and we will not yield to electoral models and practices that would be vulnerable to hacking, manipulation and other negative external influences.

Elections are an expensive enterprise and the fact we are conducting a national registration, referendum, local council, parliamentary and presidential elections requires substantial resources. My government has already committed billions of Leones to the exercise and we are engaging our international partners to support us fill some of the funding gaps and capacity needs we have identified in the elections process. These engagements are critical to the overall success of the elections. That is why we are insisting that these partnerships must render elections that are free, fair, credible and reflective of the will of the Sierra Leonean people.

I strongly believe that Sierra Leone will once again deliver free, fair and credible elections. Though we still face challenges, our democracy is growing stronger; our resolve to build on our democratic gains remains unshakeable; and together, men and women of goodwill in all parties, both within and outside the country, young and old, in the executive, parliament and the judiciary, in every profession and field of endeavour, together, this country will continue to be a beacon of unity of purpose, freedom, justice and democracy.

DMK
Reply with quote  #2 
It's unfortunate that his Excellency the President didn't take the opportunity to once and for all rule out any thoughts of a third term or extra time or extended time. What a service to democracy that would have been.

The idea of a referendum so close to the elections should be of concern. The referendum could change the rules and we don't even know what the government white paper will say with barely a year to go.
Forum Commie
Reply with quote  #3 
Will the new constitution make provisions for the president to seek a third term? It seems rather strange that the constitution will be revised in an election year, the last year in the rule of a president limited to two terms. Kabs Kanu, what can you tell us about your thoughts on that?
Eddie Grant
Reply with quote  #4 
@DMK,
You made a very good point, one that was also going through my mind while I was reading the president's address.
It's indeed of great concern to well meaning Sierra Leoneans that the president have not categorically ruled out contesting for a third term. So far, since the start of these rumours about a third term I've only come across one public speech he made concerning this saga. In that speech, he attempted to dispel the rumours by saying that he can go for a third term if he wishes and no one can stop him. He also said that he could have started the process long ago if that was his intention to go for a third term.

If with the numerous public addresses and speeches, we still have these worries hanging over our heads, it must be of great concern to us. The president has kept us in suspense for far too long, he can now do the honourable thing and lay these rumours to rest if he's not harbouring any I'll intention to go for a third term.

Furthermore, there are rumours that the Constitutional Review is aimed at justifying a third term for the president. Giving undue advantage to the ruling party. So to have a referendum just six months before elections is very suspicious indeed.

We must dig deeper into this matter in order to get to the bottom of the truth.
Especially now that we've been joined by a government functionary perhaps he can shed more light into this.
Kabs Kanu
Reply with quote  #5 
To be very frank with you, comrades, I cannot see any justification for the apprehensions and doubts. I think President Koroma should be taken on his word that he will not seek a third term.

I bring you extracts from some newspaper reports on the issue :

“No Third Term Agenda for President Ernest Bai Koroma ???”



This was the headline that greeted the people of Sierra Leone; amidst the rumour mongering that was infesting our media outlets last year. According to this piece in one of Sierra Leone’s most respected newspapers Sierra Express media, the Media Coordinator in the Office of the Government Spokesman of Sierra Leone, Mr Abdulai Bayraytay has reiterated President Ernest Bai Koroma’s Commitment to fully abide by the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, which restricts any serving President of Sierra Leone to two consecutive terms in office.  (Photo: HE President Ernest Bai Koroma) “President Ernest Bai Koroma is a firm believer and respecter of the rule of law and contrary to speculations and rumours, “he has no intention to impose himself on the electorate by abrogating an entrenched clause of the 1991 constitution to bid for a third term in office,”said Mr Bayraytay.

According to Section 46 (1) of the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone “No person shall hold office as President for more than two terms of five years each whether or not the terms are consecutive.” “Therefore it is completely out of place, for people to think that President Ernest Bai Koroma is seeking a third term by directing the activities of the Constitutional Review Commission.” Abdulai Bayraytay, Office of the Government Spokesman of Sierra Leone (By: SEM Contributor on March 13, 2014.) In June 11, 2013, I reported on an interview that was reportedly quoting President Ernest Bai Koroma as saying that, “I will retire peacefully to my village in Bombali, eat my native fish, cassava or rice every morning whilst relaxing under the trees”. The President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma was reported as making these remarks in an interview, following the TICAD V conference in Japan. SIERRA EXPRESS MEDIA

______________________________

President Koroma has no intention to seek a Third Term, APC reiterates

From the Cocorioko Newspaper


It has been reiterated that Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Koroma has no intentions to seek a third term. The Deputy Publicity Secretary of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) , Mr. Cornelius Devereaux , has told the AWARENESS TIMES newspaper exactly what officials of the Government have been saying on Facebook that President Koroma has not told anybody that he will be seeking a Third Term.presidentsmiling1

This was exactly what the Awareness Times newspaper reported yesterday : ” Speaking on the issue of the slogan “After U nar U”, misinterpreted to mean that the APC wants a third term for President Koroma, Deveaux said it is clear that every Sierra Leonean has the right to his opinion. He said the APC’s position as a party in this has been echoed and reechoed on countless occasions by no less a person but the principal spokesman of the party, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, that he has no intention to seek a third term. He said people should see this as a policy statement orally coming from the mouth of President Koroma himself. He said the issue of who is going to succeed President Koroma is not at all a burning issue for the APC as the party has a reservoir of competent and capable people to succeed His Excellency President Koroma.”I think the fundamental problem with those angry about the third term issue and busy bandying threats on officials and the President is that they do not understand the difference between OPINION and FACT. This is clear even from the slogan : “AFTER U , NAR U “. As Mr. Cornelius Devereaux has insinuated, all these are merely the opinions of people, not the position of President Koroma, the government or the APC.

__________________________________________


"I Will Not Run for Third Term Elections," Ernest Koroma Assures!!!

By Abu Shaw (03/01/17)

President Ernest Bai Koroma has reassured all Sierra Leoneans that he will not contest for any presidential elections again in Sierra Leone!!

[EBK1]

In this light, President Koroma (pictured) has exposed for the first time the Doubting Thomases who continue to give misleading information about his intention to run for Third Term. President Koroma who made it abundantly clear that he will not contest for any Presidential elections again and noted: "Heart-to-heart, I would like to hand over power to the APC presidential candidate." 

The APC is also very aware of the international wind of populist political change against the failed Establishments and Elites in the UK Brexit Referendum and the shocked American Elections' results which billionaire businessman Donald Trump astonishingly won.

In the capacity as Chairman and Leader of the ruling All People's Congress, President Koroma has also additionally made it abundantly that the people should not be taken for granted in Sierra Leone. "We should not take the people for granted," he warned the APC party.

Comrade Koroma made this statement recently at the Wusum Hotel in Makeni where a fund raising programme was held towards the completion of the APC northern region headquarters. "All executives of APC," he maintained, "should remained neutral."

Comrade Koroma said  the  race for the Presidential candidate of the APC has not even started, fuming certain:  "Comrades are removing their clothing to fight."

President Koroma  added : "I am the Leader and Chairman. Very soon I will call the National Executive of APC to set the criteria for whom will emerge as our presidential candidate for the next election."

Chairman and Leader emphasised the need for party members to put the interests of the APC above self, noting: "Seven days will change elections."

For this reason, he called on all people holding public offices to deliver the goods to the people. Displaying huge sense of honesty, President Koroma admitted that the country is very difficult after the Ebola.

As a result of this, he appealed to the APC hierarchy to be careful with the people as they are the custodian of political power.

The APC Regional Office North is 75% in progress. Comrade Ernest Bai Koroma showed knowledge over all that is happening in and outside of the party.

He said: "Many APC comrades are not happy because of the attitudes of my appointees (both cabinet ministers and Heads of M.D.A)."

Comrade Koroma noted he will only know that he has success stories if he hands over power to the APC as a ruling party in governance.

"No President," he repeated, "will be happy to hand over power to opposition. President Koroma confidently said  the APC standard bearer for the APC will not be difficult for him as he said the APC knows what is right for the party."

 "I have won many infighting before," Comrade Ernest Bai Koroma said in a relaxed mood," adding, "he  will not compromise the ideology of the APC party."

The President also disclosed that the same structure for the APC Regional office in the North will be constructed in the South and Eastern Region.

President Koroma recalled in his entire life, success has always been part of his calendar. He called on party members to show love and respect to one another and put the interest of the party above self.

The APC Regional office North will be completed in April, 2017. "The Flagship of the party for the next election will be pronounced at the completed APC Regional office North," he hinted the gathering.

Comrade Ernest Bai Koroma was cool and calculated in his presentation. He added:  "Whosoever thinks that they are undermining me are making a grave mistake."

He said if you go against the directives of the Chairman and Leader in a calculated effort to undermine his leadership, you are undermining the APC. He expressed firm belief that God will not allow them to succeed. 

Courtesy: APC Press Release in Sierra Leone

______________________________________________________



It is my considered opinion that  people misunderstood the President and took his comment out of context . He did not say he would seek a third term if he wants. Debunking the allegations that he would be seeking a third term, this was what the President said :  If he wanted to extend his term in office he would have started work on it early enough and “no one would have stopped me”. That is to say, if he had wanted to do it , he would have started the process long ago, and he would not have waited until now to do it . The statement is therefore not saying that  he wants to do it.

I am not talking as a spokesman of the government here. There are competent people already appointed to be spokesmen of the government. But from what I know and see in the corridors of power, the President has made it clear that he is not seeking a third term.






DMK
Reply with quote  #6 
@Kabs Kanu,

While I accept that the President himself has said on a number of occasions he will step down, some of his supporters have not been signing from the same hymn sheet. Phrases like '...Commitment to fully abide by the 1991 Constitution...' do leave room to manoeuvre when you put them in the context of an on going constitutional review. 

Maybe if we give his Excellency the benefit of the doubt we can say that by not completely quashing the third term rumours he has avoided becoming a lame duck president as happens to all leaders towards the end of their time in office. Perhaps that was his plan all along.
SaloneMan
Reply with quote  #7 
Kans is extolling democracy in Sierra Leone because the preshident announced elections will be held. Again, there is this current theme from Kabs, that we should be thankful and eternally grateful when Ebola Bai Tiffman Koroma just does what he is supposed to do. Like when the preshident was forced to travel commercial after they looted the treasury, AFTER spending his entire time in power traveling in private jets! Second, the date announced gives the preshident almost a full year longer than he should have been in power. Why is our country so messed up that things like this happen and why is the president the one announcing/setting the date when elections will be held?
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #8 
@DMK:

Do not fall for that CRAP!! 

NEVER GIVE APCerians THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. They will smother your thoughts in order to cunningly advance their WICKED agenda.

Please stay with this thought of yours that you have wisely promulgated:

"...The idea of a referendum so close to the elections should be of concern. The referendum could change the rules and we don't even know what the government white paper will say with barely a year to go..."

EXACTLY!!

The 1991 Constitution is going to thrown into the dustbin in favor of the "new" one that is going to allow EBK Ade-buy-all to run again for the third time because no one in the APC at the present time is presidential material - not even cousin VBF, the VP, in the eyes of the powerful development partners that butter the bread they eat oberyanda. Regime change in favor of a Bio-less SLPP is now on the horizon. Please believe me.
MSK
Reply with quote  #9 
DMK is more level-headed than you so please let him be himself.  Besides, why would anyone attempt to smoother his thoughts? Is he such a significant figure in Sierra Leone politics?
DMK
Reply with quote  #10 
Don't worry @MSK, I only know how to be true to myself. i.e. an interested partisan observer of our politics but not a direct participant. If that ever changes I'll be sure to let you know.
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