Salone News

Berewa to Boycott Presidential Debate

4 August 2007 at 22:11 | 1702 views

By Jonathan Leigh.

Vice-President Solomon Berewa(photo) will be absent from
Tuseday’s Presidential debate organised by the
Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Democracy
Sierra Leone, National Democratic Institute, USAID,
Network Movement for Justice and Development, WACSOF
and in collaboration with the BBC.

Also, Berewa’s running mate, Foreign Minister Momodu
Koroma is not taking part in the Vice-Presidential
debate on Sunday because he is currently in the
provinces on the final leg of his campaign and is not
expected back in Freetown until Thursday when the SLPP
holds its final election rally in Freetown.
Below is a press release from the SLPP explaining the
reasons for the boycotts:

Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP)
National Secretariat
Press Release

The Leadership of the Sierra Leone’s People’s Party
wishes to categorically condemn the unwarranted spate
of violence that has characterized the past fortnight
after the declaration of the official start of
campaign. As the ruling party and the Government that
has brought an end to the 11 year war, the SLPP
abhors violence in all its manifestations before,
during and after the August 11 polls.

It is worth noting that in several speeches of the
Leader and Presidential Candidate Hon Solomon Berewa
(a Principal Architect of the Peace) he has clearly
stated the SLPP’s position and that of his firm belief
in the consolidation of the peace as espoused by the
title of our Manifesto “A Platform For Peace
Consolidation And Prosperity”

In effect, the SLPP Leadership is convinced that only
by consolidating the hard won peace can we embark on
any development.

However, it is disheartening to observe that some
Leaders of the opposition have taken upon themselves
to attempt to render the state ungovernable by their
very utterances. A clear example was an interview
granted by Mr. Ernest Koroma to Peep (Newspaper)
Magazine on June 13, 2007 where he was quoted as
“SLPP has no reason to win this election. SLPP has
rigged the elections. There is no way we will ever
accept an SLPP victory. We will protest; and we intend
to protest violently. Nothing will stop us from
protesting violently except an announcement that the
APC has won the elections. The APC has won 70% of the
votes in the North and the West, therefore the SLPP
has lost. If we don’t get this result it means the
election was rigged and we are going to cause havoc in
this country”.

The PMDC Leader Mr. Charles Margai himself has equally
intimated in an interview on UN Radio recently that he
is capable of marshalling and leading 20,000 troops to
Kailahun following the fracas that took place in that
part of the country.

Considering the above utterances from these opposition
leaders, the SLPP has concluded that unless Messrs
Koroma and Margai denounce violence in all it forms
and manifestations, Mr.Solomon Berewa, the leader and
Presidential candidate of the SLPP will not sit in any
Presidential debate with them.

We hope that as leaders of our various political
parties, we shall eschew violence and endeavor at all
times to inculcate into the core of our membership and
supporters best practices that will enable us lay
another block in our peace consolidation and open
further the door to prosperity which should be the
goal of all of us who have opted to take the challenge
of leadership in our beloved Nation.

Victor Reider
National Publicity Secretary