#1 Zara Lane, Portee, Wellington, Freetown. Sierra Leone, West Africa
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PDL DIASPORA REPRESENTATIVES
The People’s Democratic League (PDL) welcomes the statement by the European Union (EU) Representative in Sierra Leone, Ambassador Manuel Muller about the June 24, elections in the country. In a meeting with Government Officials, the Election Commission of Sierra Leone (EC/SL) and the Judiciary, on Saturday 18th February, 2023 it was reported that the European Representative had this to say: “We are pleased to participate today at the Elections Steering Committee together with stakeholders including Government, the Election Commission and the Judiciary”.
Ambassador Muller was also quoted as saying that, their support is important for a strong Sierra Leone democracy that will allow every political party to freely and fairly play within the ambit of the Law and maintain the peace of the country. He further reiterated European Union’s position that no one should be left in the democratic process. ‘The European Union again support to a strong Sierra Leonedemocracy with credible, inclusive, competitive, multiparty, multi candidates election in June 2023’ Muller was quoted as saying.
This is a strong message and carries meaning to the people of Sierra Leone, who have suffered so much under a system that treats human beings in sub-human fashion for so long. We welcome this message with the belief that the international community will not only act by statements, but also will see to it that actions follow their statements. This message goes a long way to vindicate our position that, an election is only credible when there is a level playing field and when people are free to vote and be voted for without obstruction, discrimination or intimidation of any kind. No place to hide, genuine democracy must prevail this time in Sierra Leone, for posterity waits to judge political actors in the country.
In the interest of peace and the democratic rights of the people of Sierra Leone, the People’s Democratic League firmly maintains that the rule of law and democratic processes must be respected and the PPRC should register all political parties in the country without any recourse to provoking reaction from the public. There is no provision in the Sierra Leonean Constitution for independent presidential candidates, and as such there is no need for the office of the Political Parties RegulationCommission (PPRC) to violate the right of the people of Sierra Leone to freedom of association or register political parties of their choice. We call on the PPRC to issue out our final registration certificate and stop using errand boys in the likes of one Prince Coker, the self-purported leader of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from launching attacks on members of the PDL in public places. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated to continue again.
The People’s Democratic League will continue to organize and take it case for registration anywhere to seek justice. We are not foreigners in Sierra Leone and we should not be treated as such. God is on our side, we stand for the truth and God is always with those who stand for the truth and justice. We will continue to work with good people worldwide, using all tools at our disposal, to expose the injustice, discrimination and intimidation meted on our registration process. But again, we will not sit idle while our rights and freedoms are mortgaged by people entrusted with the responsibility to serve the Sierra Leonean nation. We will neither compromise, nor sellout our rights and freedoms, which are enshrined in the 1991 multiparty Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone as well as in international Conventions and Protocols. The rule of law must not be seen to be gradually eroded in Sierra Leone.
The statements and concerns of the international community, therefore, provide opportunity for Sierra Leoneans to work for the purpose of ensuring that the 2023 general elections are not marred by violence and destruction of property by the armed agents of the political class. In other words, the 2023 election should not be a“do or die business.” We call on the international community to intervene immediately and stop the PPRC from hurting the Sierra Leonean public.
Meanwhile, the reckless statements emanating from some elements of the leading factions of the ruling class have given the impression that the 2023 election will be a do or die business. Leading politicians are roaming about in the company of hired thugs to do the bidding. Tensions are all over the country as some political leaders have declared a particular tribe as their perceived enemies who must suffered for the sins of politicians in the country.
We want to call on our youth across the country never to allow any politicians to hire them for election-related violence. Since the children of the sponsors of violence are in expensive schools at home and abroad we urge the suffering people of Sierra Leone never to allow their own children to be used as cannon fodders in the current battle for the control of political power and economic resources of the country by the ruling dynasty.
In order to ensure that the PPRC, Electoral Commission and the Police do not compromise national security, we urge these constituted State Institutions to maintain their neutrality in the electoral contests. It is clear that the office of the Inspector General of Police is a creation of the Sierra Leonean Constitution; and the Sierra Leone Police is by Law under the control of the Office of the Inspector General of Police. It is also clear that the primary responsibility of the Sierra Leone Police Force is to maintain and secure public safety and public order within the sovereignty of Sierra Leone.
In a democracy, the Police must be seen as the friend of the people and in the performance of its duty, say for instance, the Sierra Leone Police Force must manifestly demonstrate impartiality before, during and after elections. It must not be seen to lean to one side of the political divide against the other. The Police must not take part in any disputation, which has political coloration. These qualities are sine qua non to the enhancement of public respectability to it. Having regard to the nature of the function which the Sierra Leone Police Force also performs, this body must also insulate itself such that impartiality and fair play may at all times ascribed to it.
The Election Commission of Sierra Leone (EC/SL) by the mandate given to it by the Constitution is to conduct elections in the country. And in the exercise of this mandate, it must act independently and impartially. The EC/SL must never be found wanting for act of omission or commission. Like the EC/SL, the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) should place itself in a position of neutrality and impartiality in the conduct of its duties towards the Sierra Leonean people. It must not be a tool used by big gurus of the ruling dynasty or foreign interests to muzzle genuine democratic opposition in Sierra Leone. Neutrality must be the watchword of the body. It must always remain fair and just to the public.
In order to accelerate our internal inclusive democracy, accelerate innovative ideas and growth, the PDL has appointed members to represent the Party in the diasporas. For this purpose, the PDL has appointed the following members to represent it in the diaspora:
1. Sister Mariama Juldeh Bah Jalloh-PDL Diaspora Chairperson for North America, including the United States and Canada.
2. Brother Osman Will Kamara-PDL Diaspora Chairperson for the Gulf Region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain
3. Sister Saudatu M. Syllah-PDL Diaspora Chairperson for the Republic of Ireland
4. Sister Mahawa Ngobeh Lamin Kamara-PDL Diaspora Chairperson for the Republic of Liberia and Ivory Coast
5. Brother Osman Conteh (alias O. C. Danquah)-PDL Diaspora Chairperson for the Sahel Region, including Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger
6. Brother Salieu Tunde Cole Jnr-PDL Diaspora Chairperson for The Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania
7. Sister Zainab Bakarr Sankoh-PDL Chairperson for the Republic of Ghana and Togo
8. Brother Alpha Umar Kolla Jalloh-PDL Diaspora Chairperson for the Republic of Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde.
These members will now join their counterparts in the Maghreb, Southern America, the Caribbean, Spain, France, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Southeast Asia. The screening is continuing to name representatives in the United Kingdom, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa. This is necessary to have a better and achievable team representing the PDL in the diasporas.
Our diaspora representatives are charged with the responsibilities of creating PDL Chapters in their different countries and regions; try to spread information about PDL amongst Sierra Leoneans in the diasporas. They are also responsible for disseminating PDL political information materials to the public through the media, international institutions, political parties, opinion leaders, activists, intellectuals, scholars and social groups. They will organize and participate in discussions surrounding peace, democracy, human rights; the rule of law, justice, freedom, development and sustainability of the environment.
Over the last six years, the PDL has developed a thoughtful political and innovative idea by making proposals for inclusive democracy, diversified political leadership and growth. We can now better reinforce our internal inclusive democracy to ensure that the interests of all Sierra Leoneans are represented and discussed in the PDL. As a result, we have more women in position of leadership in the PDL, more youth participation and tolerance that celebrates our historical background. With our membership drive well underway in every corner of Sierra Leone and gaining momentum, we are now making more bold steps to reinvent the PDL, reimage its leadership quality, expand its membership and become more patriotic, forward looking, inclusively democratic and progressive as a political Movement which can tackle the present difficult and complex challenges as we have experienced and visionary leadership. We can do it, because we can; to turn vulnerabilities into strengths. We are committed to rebuild and transform our economy; andfoster a model of growth that works for every citizen and residents of Sierra Leone.
In this time of political, economic and financial problems, we need a new leader who can bail Sierra Leone out of the mess. We need new solutions and not empty election campaign rhetoric. Old leadership and solutions have not worked. In fact, they can make our situation worse. The PDL has clearly demonstrated through our resilient, hands-on experience, and proven track record, that we have the right leadership to rebrand Sierra Leone. It is very important that Sierra Leoneans choose a newleadership that cares for the people and not themselves. The PDL carries no baggage; it is a clean and genuine political platform.
God save Sierra Leone!
(Chief) Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh
Founder and National Leader
People’s Democratic League