Salone News

YSLI Plans More Presidential Debates

31 January 2007 at 02:11 | 457 views

Youth for Sierra Leone Improvement (YSLI) is hereby informing the general public/electorate, the government of Sierra Leone, the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), all political parties, the Sierra Leone Association Of Journalists (SLAJ ), UNIOSIL, the UN Special Representative to Sierra Leone, the European Union, the US Embassy, the British High Commission in Sierra Leone, the Chinese Consulate, Amnesty International, the National Democratic Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy, of its plan to organize two presidential debates and one vice presidential debate before July 28, 2007 general elections in Sierra Leone to promote public awareness on political parties’ stance on the issues that affect the lives of the people.

YSLI members are honored to provide the citizen of Sierra Leone such opportunity which will provide awareness and answer questions to important issues that need to be addressed. Our activities in encouraging politicians to explain their political manifestos across the Sierra Leone political spectrum must also be protected as our civic responsibility and duty to participate in the activities, which justly constitute democratic principles and practice. Our neutrality and detachment from political affiliation, together with our charter to observe free and fair election standards are the touchstone of our civic activities.

The promise of democracy and political pluralism must be encouraged through YSLI activities, lest the provisions in our constitution to promote democracy and political pluralism will be a hollow if our young democracy is left to be tethered to the wishes of politicians whose main aim in every election campaign remains business as usual.

Accordingly, YSLI views this upcoming presidential debate with the popular wisdom that the youth are the next torchbearers. Unless the youths are involved in the process of democracy and political pluralism, they will become only spectators in the manifest destiny of their future.

YSLI members expect the safety of their members would be ensured in carrying out their civic responsibilities.

Meanwhile, YSLI intends to participate in the election campaign to inform the public of and promote democracy and advocate for human rights, good public policies, especially the ripe issues of proper youth education, adequate medical care, unemployment and the place of the youth in our up-and-coming democracy.

Thus, we appeal not only to our government, but to all human rights organizations, our patrons in the international community, that we serve this public notice in anticipation that YSLI members are accorded their constitutional rights and protection in carrying out this civic responsibility of educating the electorate on the 2007 election issues.

YSLI is non-partisan and will act within the meaning of the constitution and its kindred statutes relating to election laws and the conduct of political parties.

Youth for Sierra Leone Improvement (YSLI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan and non-governmental organization of Sierra Leoneans based in Sierra Leone, with representation in the United States of America.

YSLI is dedicated to the mission of establishing a platform for Sierra Leoneans at home and in the diaspora and for the youths of Sierra Leone to articulate on the various youth policies enacted and to be enacted. Our belief is in dialogue between the various stakeholders involved in youth policy issues, development, education, and awareness exercised through unity, nationalism and democracy.

Photo: Dr. Michel Sho-Sawyerr of YSLI.