From the Editor’s Keyboard

We support NEC on diaspora voting

By  | 22 June 2015 at 21:08 | 1649 views

According to We Yone newspaper and other media in Sierra Leone, the National Electoral Commission, through the Public Election Act of 2012. will this year commence registering Sierra Leoneans living outside the country for them to vote in the next elections in 2018.

But there is a hitch: Two major political parties, the SLPP (which is the main opposition party) and the PMDC have allegedly opposed the idea saying the ruling APC might use the process to register illegal voters. This is a strange argument, in our opinion because registration of voters outside the country is not a new thing especially during and immediately after the civil war when hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leoneans were living in neighbouring countries and elsewhere as refugees. The Kabbah SLPP regime (1996-2007), which was then in power favoured the idea and in 2012, during the current APC regime, parliamentarians from the various political parties gave their support to the Act mentioned earlier.

Maybe more efforts should be made by NEC to educate people in the country about the benefits of diaspora voting some of which include making Sierra Leoneans stay connected to their native country thus developing respect for the system of governance in the country. They will also be encouraged to make more contributions to their native country, the country they can truly call their home. They know there is no place like home even if they are fully integrated in their adopted countries.

Indeed you do not need to reside in your native country to do something to improve life in that country. It’s expected of you as long as you remain loyal and also give back and show gratitude to the country that has welcomed you and given you opportunities to prosper.

On the other hand, it’s not a crime to move back to the fatherland if you think your services are much more needed there or if you feel you would be more personally fulfilled as an individual or human being. It’s your right, a universal human right.