Salone News

SLAJ releases dates for Presidential Debates

8 July 2007 at 01:00 | 313 views

By Sorie Sudan Sesay, Freetown.

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ),
this evening released the dates for both the
Presidential and Running Mates debates for candidates
contesting the August 11, 2007 Presuidential and
Parliamentary Elections.

SLAJ Vice President and Chairman of the Political
Debates Committee, Phillip Neville told Patriotic
Vanguard on telephone this evening that the
Presidential debates featuring all candidates aspiring
to the presidency in the August elections has been fixed
for 29, July 2007. And the date for the
debate of the Running Mates has been fixed for July
22nd, 2007.

While the Presidential debate will be held at the
prestigious Lagoonda Complex, that of the Running
Mates will be held at the Miatta Conference Hall.

Two of the country’s biggest political
parties, the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP)
and the opposition All People’s Congress (APC)
announced their running mates for the elections this
week in the persons of Foreign Minister Momodu Koroma
and Samuel Sam-Sumana respectively.

News about the political debates has
been welcomed not only by members of the Fourth Estate
but the general public as well.

However, it is not known whether the respective
candidates will honour the scheduled dates considering
the fact that they have been boycotting such
programmes in the past.

Vice President and SLPP Flagbearer Solomon Berewa, had
at one time to boycott a political debate organized by SKYY 106.6 FM Radio Station at the last minute between himself
and the APC Leader Ernest Bai Koroma.

Also, a political debate organized by the
London-based Cotton Tree Magazine was also boycotted
by the three political heavyweights, Berewa, Ernest
and Margai.

Meanwhile, there has been persistent pressure from the
local press for the political leaders to honour these
invitations in order to explain their manifesto to the
general public.

The programmes will be aired live on probably all
radio stations.