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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Peaceful Bye-Election in Constituency 010 Hangs in the Balance

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Information gathered by this news medium entails that there are allegations of the beating and stabbing of a young man in the Penguia Chiefdom in Kailahun last week ahead of the hotly contested Constituency 010 bye-election in Kailahun.

According to sources, the SLPP candidate took campaigners and Police Officers to Penguia Chiefdom on the day the incident happened. It is alleged that the young man’s legs were also broken by thugs.

The independent candidate contesting the election – Ibrahim Sylvester Jusu Hengela, is said to be a young student from Njala University, who defected from the SLPP after the Constituency’s preferred candidate was rejected by the party.

It was further understood that President Bio himself had invited the SLPP candidates for the party’s symbol to Freetown, where he personally chose a lady called Zainab Kama Braima for the party’s symbol to contest the election, rather than respecting the local party
membership election process. That is what, they say, sparked the violence.

Again it was revealed that the President is said to have sent his personal delegation to ‘talk’ to the young independent candidate to step down from the contest.

The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) reported that the three candidates and representatives contesting the bye-elections in Constituency 010 in Kailahun District – John Allieu of the APC, Zainab Kama Braima of the SLPP, and the Independent Candidate -Ibrahim Sylvester Jusu Hengela over the weekend pledged to continue their campaigns peacefully, ahead of the 27th February 2021 Parliamentary bye-election.

In their peace messages, all three candidates admonished their supporters to be aw-abiding before, during, and after the
elections.

The candidates advised their supporters and the electorate to report issues of concern to the relevant authorities and not to take the law
into their hands. This, they say, is for the good of the Constituency on one hand and the country as a whole on the other.

Admonishing the candidates, the Chairman of the Political Parties Registration Commission- Mr. Abdullai Masiyambay Bangura, expressed the Commission’s disappointment at the way and manner the supporters of the candidates have conducted themselves during the campaigns. That, he says, is a total disrespect to the electorate, saying such must stop forthwith.

He advised the Police to bring the perpetrators and those who incited the violence to book, without fear or favour.

In his statement, the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Mohamed K. Konneh, assured the candidates and the leadership of
the parties that the elections will be conducted freely and fairly, and that the winner will be a winner for the people.

In his statement, the Assistant Inspector General of Police – East, Thomas Lahai assured all that his Force will professionally police the elections without fear or favour.

He advised the candidates and electorate to be law-abiding before, during and after the elections.

Other key stakeholders addressed the meeting, including representatives of Democratic Institutions, Office of National Security (ONS), Human Right Commission Sierra Leone (HRC-SL),National Commission for Democracy (NCD), National Elections Watch (NEW), Paramount Chiefs, Chiefdom Authorities, and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) – all added their voices to the call for a peaceful election.

Before the joint stakeholders meeting organized by PPRC and NEC , the PPRC held a similar meeting in Sandaru, Penguia Chiefdom, after a stakeholder meeting in Daru on Thursday 18th February 2021.

(C) The Calabash Newspaper

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