Sierra Leone Telegraph: 31 July 2021:
The leadership of the All People’s Congress (APC) Party in Sierra Leone has held talks with the country’s Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), following the party’s decision to take steps to organise its national convention in line with a High Court Order imposed on the party early this year.
Writing to the executive of the APC party – summing up the outcome of the meeting, the PPRC sets out clear guidelines which the executive must now follow in order not to fall foul of the High Court Order. This is what the PPRC says:
Re: Outcome of the Commission’s meeting of the 28th July 2021, with his Lordship Justice Adrian Fisher and counsel on both sides, on the matter between your party and its leadership and Alfred Peter Conteh.
I refer to the meeting quoted above, convened at the instance of the Commission and forward herewith Resolutions reached thereat, for appropriate action relative to your Party.
1.A fifteen-man inclusive Interim technical Committee, consisting of known sympathisers of both sides is constituted. A list of the members of the committee to be presented to the Plaintiff, through his Lawyer and in the event he still has issues with the composition of the Committee, he is at liberty to appoint two more members to the committee, making it a Seventeen member committee. The membership of the Committee must not in any event exceeds twenty one.
2.The mandate of the Committee is inter alia:
a) To plan and organise elections for the following constituents’ members of the National Delegates Conference: Five members from each of the 132 Constituencies, twenty members representing the Women’s Congress and twenty members representing the youth league in the National Delegates Conference(hereinafter called “the NDC”), for the purposes of their participation in the emergency National Delegates Conference as ordered by the Court.
All of these elections are to be conducted in August 2021.
b) To plan and convene the emergency National Delegates Conference, for the sole purpose of adopting the Party’s draft Constitution, not later than the 12th September 2021.
c). The Committee’s work and activities to be supervised by the PPRC, from its inception, through the planning stage, to the eventual conduct of the elections aforesaid and convening the emergency national delegates Conference aforementioned.
3.Counsel for the Defendants to come before His Lordship on or before Monday, the 2nd August 2021, for an extension of the timelines in his Ruling, that have elapsed and clarifications if any, of portion(s) of his said Ruling. Fortunately, His Lordship is the vacation judge.
4.All Registered card-carrying members of the Party in each constituency, are eligible to vote in the election of the five delegates of their constituency.
The membership of the youth league are to vote for the twenty delegates representing them in the NDC.
Since the women’s Congress does not have a standing membership, all Registered card-carrying women of the Party are eligible to vote for the twenty members representing their wing in the NDC.
All Registered card-carrying members of the Party in each Constituency, shall be eligible to contest for their Constituency membership of the NDC.
All Registered card-carrying members of the Youth Leaque, shall be eligible to contest for its membership of the NDC.
All Registered card-carrying female members of the Party, are eligible to contest for the membership of the women’s Congress in the NDC.
5.The elections of the five delegates from each constituency to be conducted in six consecutive days in August 2021, a day for each of the six electoral Regions in the country, namely: Western Rural, Western Urban, North, North West, South and East.
6.Counsel on both sides to prepare and sign a joint list of delegates of the existing National Delegates Conference, that are not precluded in His Lordship’s Ruling, from participating in the emergency NDC. The list to be presented to His Lordship and the PPRC, not later than Friday 30th July 2021.
7.The Party to avail His Lordship, the PPRC and Counsel for the Plaintiff, clean copies of the draft Constitution, on or before Monday 3rd August 2021.
The Commission wishes to use this opportunity to thank His Lordship, for his magnanimity, in not only granting us his esteemed audience, but for hosting the meeting. We are equally appreciative of the goodwill demonstrated by both sides of the divide, in the greater interest of their Party.
The Commission looks forward to working with the Party, in the Constitution of its structures, under the new Constitution, in the not too distant future and counts on the continued cooperation of all concerned, in the implementation of these Resolutions.
By copy hereof, the Plaintiff through his Lawyer, is accordingly informed as well.
Yours faithfully, A.M.Bangurah (Chairman), PPRC
The APC has one option and that is to be honest with themselves and choose the leader and flagbearer that has the capacity and ability to reach out to the opposite side of the political divide to get things done. The next president is going to be the one that could attract or divide the opposite side as much as possible. In the end, it will all come to the swing area, districts and how many voters you could attract or divide on the opposite side. Anyway, they have time to make the difference. Even if they are oblige to hold their noses and vote for a leader that will defeat President Bio will be great. Presently, president Bio is the man of the show. His political actions are like a python suffocating its prey slowly but surely for dinner.
The APC should know that it will be very difficult to continue saying that President Bio is not a good president if he wins the next elections. One thing is certain. President Bio will definitely appoint those SLPP party champions as ministers and government officials who are credible and know how to rule and reach out to the other side to unite the country and save his legacy if he has any. The only option will be to congratulate president Bio, work with him in good faith and let bygones be bygones. A word for a wise is quite sufficient. God bless the republic of Sierra Leone.
The idea the APC party have to obey a court order, on how to conduct its business, and running of this great party of my Father, and many other hard working rank and file members like him, clearly shows it has reached a low point in trying to wrestle control from the party oligarchs,or bosses, that have hijacked the rules and regulations that govern the APC party, as laid out in the party’s constitution, for which everyone paid up member is signed up to. Clearly there is disunity amongst it members.We don’t have to sugar coat it. Call it as it is. Lets call a spade a spade. Unless it is sorted out, it will cast a long shadow over the party prospects, as they geared for the 2023 Presidential election. How the leadership of the party nevigate this choppy waters of back stabbings, character assassinations, innuendo, and snitching amongst themselves, mostly involving the top echelon of the party, will define it future.
The motto of the party shuld be UNITY. And added to that, the only way forward, is to obey the court order. And conduct the buiness of the party openly, transparently, and where necessary informally with various delegates to canvass ideas about the way forward.Unity and accountability should be the bench mark they should aim for. Infomal meetings by leaders of the party, with the aim of making the decision making process of the party more inclusive, democratic and above all eles none discriminatory in terms of ethnicity, regional, or status, can sometimes throw up some supprises in improving the electoral prospects of the party. The APC party leadership should spare a thought for the African National Congress of South Africa,and learn from them. How disunity can destroy a political party. The party of Nelson Mandela is hemorrhaging its members ships. Unthinkable in the era of Mandela.
The ANC only started to loose it popularity amongst the South African voters, after the death of the unifer in chief, Mr Nelson Mandela, which exposed the deep ethnic divisions between Xcohsa Mandela’s tribe, and Jacob zuma’s Zulu tribe, that existed between its members, and the leadership of the party.If the APC party wants to reconnecte with voters, they need to bury their differences. Majority of decisions making processes, like choosing National delegates, party leaders, local branch leaders, and officials party candidates are done behind the scenes. And some of this decision are made through horse trading and comprises. And this decision and compromise are merely thrown on the party convention floor for delegates approval.You don’t have to wash your dirty linen in public. Because that will give ammunition to Bio and his party to use against you when the election season kicks off. Your aim is to win the presidential election, and win majority of the parliamentary seats, so you can make the changes necessary to make a difference in people’s lives. Not your life.