APPA-SL Issues Position Statement on Three Important issues in Sierra Leone’s Current Political Climate
The All Political Parties Association of Sierra Leone (APPA-SL) has today, Tuesday 12 July 2022 issued a position statement on three key important issues in Sierra Leone’s current political climate.
APPA-SL position statement focused on the Proportional Representation, Provisional result of the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census, and CoPPP’s misleading tactic to stir divisiveness within political parties to fuel the flame of incessant threat and discord in the state.
Below are details of the position statement issued by APPA-SL and signed by Chairman, Prince Coker and Secretary General, Ibrahim S. Sesay:
“PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION AND DRAFT POLITICAL PARTIES BILL, NOW BEFORE PARLIAMENT
The All Political Parties Association (APPA-SL), the legitimate umbrella body of registered political parties in Sierra Leone, recognised by the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) wish to make its position on the following important points: APPA-SI calls for the use of the Proportional Representation (PR) in the forthcoming national elections, instead of the First Past the Post (FPIP), on the basis that:
• The PR system strengthens inclusivity and calls for increase political participation in our body politic, as is more representative and would accelerate gender empowerment It guarantees women across the country of their 30% quota representation in parliament. Save cost and valuable resources use in bye-elections which can be redirected into other developmental programs.)
• It will put an end to security threats and tensions that characterize bye-elections thereby eliminating the idea of bye-elections in case of death or incapacity of a sitting parliamentarian. Reduces the campaign burden on individual candidate and it is more unifying.
• Promotes national cohesion and help in the consolidation of peace.
• Guarantees efficient, effective and quality representation in parliament.
• APPA-SI therefore needs a political system that will help in consolidating our national peace.
• and cohesion and eliminating the political barriers presently surrounding our body politics.
• In as much. APPA-SL is aware of the importance of strengthening the ECSL, PPRC and other entities in ensuring equitable and inclusive electoral practices in Sierra Leone. APPA-SL is also of a great concern on the draft political parties’ bill, particularly the clause which set rigid criteria for political parties that cannot score a threshold of 2% in national elections to be deregistered.
• APPA-SI sees it as a major barrier that will undermine the spirit behind the creation of the Sierra Leone 1991 constitution, which is founded on the principles of multi-party democracy and the rights of Association. Therefore APPA-SL is drawing the attention of parliament for that clause to be expunged in the bill, as that clause was unanimously rejected by all stakeholders in the entire electoral and legal reforms conferences.
PROVISIONAL RESULT OF THE 2021 MID-TERM POPULATION AND HOUSING CENSUS
APPA-SL has been following Stat SL with keen interest since His Excellency, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone made the proclamation for Stats SL to conduct a mid-term census. As an association, we are aware during the many engagements we had with Stats SL as critical stakeholders in the process. that the purpose of the census was to collect, compile, evaluate, analyse, publish, and disseminate demographic, sociological, and economic statistics of the country’s population, as well as statistical data, residential occupants using Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI).
The All Political Parties Association (APPA-SL) having monitored the Census process from the Locality Verification, Cartography, Pilot Census and uptill the main enumeration wish to make the following position statement that:
• The All Political Parties Association was a member of the advisory committee since its statutory formation as per the census Act of 2002 and we were always consulted on all the technicalities and critical decisions regarding the census.
• As political parties, we followed through the process that included the cartographic. mapping where Stats SL showed us pictorial evidence of all localities in Sierra Leone. By that, they assured us that they will provide pinpoint accuracy on all localities in Sierra Leone and provide unique codes to each of them. This was achieved during the main census enumeration.
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• APPA-SL during the pilot census and the main census enumeration deployed monitored the process. The feedback we got from those monitors and what we ourselves saw on the ground indicated that both the Pilot and Main Census Enumeration was successful and had the cooperation of the majority of Sierra Leoneans across the country. This indicates that a huge amount of people were willing to get counted as opposed to the few that put up some resistance.
• APPA-SL believes that the process was open to accommodating technical contributions from key stakeholders which added value to the entire process.
• APPA-SL observes that, people that had previously refused to be counted showed willingness to be counted particularly after the opening of the toll free line 881, which many of them called and they ended up being counted. As political parties, we believe that, any development activity should be informed by a credible and reliable data that will help to hold duty bearers ( us the politicians) accountable.
• Based on our monitoring, we can confirm that so many consultants breezed in to support Stats SL and their expertise helped to generate the credible data which we now have at hand.
• Therefore, the data as presented by Statistics Sierra Leone in 2021 MTHPC are correct. and reliable and should be used for its intended purpose.
• APPA-SL would continue to give its full support to any activities that are to be done under the ambit of the law.
• APPA-SL from the release dated 3d December 2021 calling on all stakeholders to support the 2021 mid-term census, as this is the only way we would be guarantee of sustainable progress for the development of Sierra Leone.
COPPP’S MISLEADING TACTIC TO STIR DIVISIVENESS WITHIN POLITICAL PARTIES, TO FUEL THE FLAME OF INCESSANT THREAT AND DISCORD IN THE STATE.
APPA-SL is aware of the unlimited challenges, as the world is going through difficult times. Nevertheless, APPA-SL has been working tirelessly to help harmonize divergent views on issues of national importance and subsequently engage government accordingly. APPA-SL however unequivocally condemn the so-called Consortium of Progressive Political Parties (COPPP) orchestrated plans to break law and order all in the name of staging what they call peaceful protest in responding to the present hardship and the unprecedented global cost of living.
APPA-SL wishes to state categorically that, the renegade people COPPP are using are not representing those parties, as their cry of wolf tactics is to stair divisiveness within political parties and inciting the public to come out and create disturbances or protest against the government, just to divert the attention of the people of this country from the efforts others are making to deepen the country’s democratic credentials.
APPA-SL believes that, violating of some regulatory framework and inchoate professional standard should not have any confortable place in our society, therefore we should maintain a value of nationalism and patriotism and discourage sentiment that are only beneficial to self rather than nation.
In conclusion, APPA-SL is calling on government to focus in curbing lawlessness and indiscipline without fear or favor as promised by the president, as we also encourage citizens to respect the rule of law and use the appropriate remedies available to seek redress.
Additionally, APPA-SL would like to commend His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio’s government in the giant strides his government is making to salvage the economic situation in the country amidst the present global crisis and to augment Sierra Leone’s democracy. APPA-SL believes this is the time our people need us most, therefore as political parties, we must all embrace a united front towards national development and peace. Come 2023 we will put our political gowns and face ourselves in the political arena. Consequently, APPA-SL hereby solicits the continued cooperation of parliament to put the interest of the country first. Finally, we ask that the so-called COPPP try to get legitimacy before advocating on behalf of political parties in Sierra Leone.”