SLPP Sidi Tunis condemns governments in the region for criminalizing opposition

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 May 2022:

Mohamed Sidi Tunis, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, said on Friday in Dakar that decriminalization of opposition parties doing their function needs to be addressed.

He was speaking at the Sub-regional Dialogue on Sustaining Democratic Principles in West Africa as a panellist in the breakup session titled: “Revamping and Harness Sub- Regional and Continental Responses to the Unconstitutional Changes of Government in West Africa’.

Tunis – who is also an elected member of the Sierra Leone Parliament in the ruling SLPP party, said that across Africa opposition leaders are being harassed and detained randomly for merely performing their function.

“There can be no effective government without an effective opposition and so to ensure checks on the executive and to underpin good governance, the judiciary should be strengthened, and elections should be monitored from the preparation stages on to elections day,” he stated.

“I have been elected three times and also seen candidates lose three times, I can therefore ascertain that if someone contests and loses an election genuinely, they will readily accept the outcome but where they believe, and the evidence is available, that they lost because the polls were rigged then that’s a recipe for trouble.”

The speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament further said that “ECOWAS must do more to be involved in the preparation of elections and not just during election day.” He also said that “observers must be seen to be neutral and not in bed with incumbents.”

Regarding the role of civil society actors, Tunis commented that there are several instances where CSO actors would go to constituencies, constantly oppose the Member of Parliament and when elections come up, such actors present themselves as candidates. “Those actors who use the CSO platform to promote their political ambition or being bankrolled by incumbents undermine their efficacy and neutrality,” Mr Tunis warns.

 

3 Comments

  1. Why on earth some Sierra Leoneans are misconstruing a political party in opposition? I know every one has his or her right to say or voice out their opinions. However ones opinion must not go against the laws of the land. Being an opposition party does not mean the party’s duty is to oppose the ruling party on every aspect of governing even if the government is doing or has done something good. Also being an opposition political member does not give you the right to talk or say things which is against the constitution of the land. Sierra Leone is binded with laws and no one is above those laws.
    If a ruling government can not put political members on check to what they say to the public or in secret that goes beyond the boarder line of free speech, then our country Sierra Leone will become lawless, which breeds disorder and insecurity in the country.
    Take a look into the USA select committee investigating the January 6 attack of the Capitol. The former President Thrump is to be investigated in connection to his speech he altered to his supporters on that day prior to the attack. Ones word can change peoples’ sense of reasoning or unstable minds and makes them to do as you say because you are their leader and they believe whatever you say, you are right.
    Sierra Leoneans lets make our country a better place to live in peace and harmony. Forget about our political affiliation, and speak what is right for our country.

  2. Showdown Presidential elections for 2023. Has the fight between the SLPP party champions and the Bio SLPP just begun? Mr Mohamed Sidi Tunis is the brother of Mr Tunis of the APC who was detained for saying something that the present administration seem inciting. Was his brother or cousin a victim of “harassment and detention” by the present Bio SLPP government? Is this another indication that some in the SLPP are trying to position themselves as not part of the bad things happening in the Bio SLPP? Frankly speaking, I feel sorry for the First Lady who will take all the blame for all the bad things that had happened since President Bio came to power. SAD. Talk half, lef half till campaign time. God help the SLPP party champions and our country.

  3. The Speaker of the Ecowas Parliament Mr Mohamed Sidi Tunis is spot on.I wish he had took such a stand and moral high ground as an elected SLPP MP in the wells of the Sierra Leonean Parliament not as the speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.This cruel irony is not lost on us. Bio and his cronies most be shaking their heads off with a collective sense of relief .Mr Tunis an SLPP stalwart made his statementnt outside of Sierra leone. So telling African autocrats to respect the opposition is a sick joke .charity begins at home .Right now his democratic credentials are lost in translation. There is no secret, the respect for the rule of law, a free press , an accountable government with a strong opposition, respect for civil liberties and an independent judiciary is the only one size fit all uniform developed nations states has in common .

    Since taken office back in 2018, Bio have relentlessly continues to harras his opponents with trumpeted charges that will never passed the litmus test of the court of public opinion never mind the court of law .From Dr Bylden and others and more recently the charges made against Mr Kemoh Sesay from the APC opposition party for insulting Bio for which he now found himself in hot waters ,I wonder what Mr Tunis make of Mr Kemoh Sesay’s predicaments.Can he used his good offices at the ECOWAS Parliament to condemn Bio’s repressive actions against the opposition in Sierra Leone ?or criminalising the opposition so he can use it as a springboard to get reelected in 2023.?This increasingly flagrant nature of repression by Bio is common right across some of our African countries run by repressive regimes that are full of broken promises .Tanzania under the Late president , Uganda’s Musevenie and the military dictatorship of the Sudan .

    Mr Tunis is spot on , but I wonder whether his conversion or his road to Damascus moment only happened to him in Dakar, Senegal, not Freetown Sierra Leone,as a speaker of ECOWAS parliament not as local SLPP MP in the Sierra leonean parliament .More like he was comfortable to voice his opinios in a different setting , but staying silent in his own country which goes against his revolutionary zeal and instincts that is trobbing his heart because he don’t wants to rock the SLPP boat or be a guest of Bio and his over jealous Sierra Leone police force at Padema Road prison .Because all his concerns he raised are happening right under Bio’s watch. According to the Africa report,”One of the most common misconception of dictators is they pay no attention to the official rule of the game . Although their ability to strike fear into the heads of their opponents depends on their to act arbitrary, autocrats crave the respectability of the law ” .

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