*NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (NEC) RELEASES DRAFT DATES FOR PRESIDENTIAL, PARLIAMENTARY, PARAMOUNT CHIEF MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT (PCMP) AND LOCAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS 2017/18.*
As NEC takes up their constitutional mandate to carry out the process of voters registration as stated in the constitution, it is now a possibility that the civil registration process might fall on a dead end. Subject to the provisions of the constitution, *the Electoral Commission shall be responsible for the conduct and supervision of the registration of voters for, and of, all public elections and referenda in the country*.
As a result, we the youths of SLPP are calling on the President to sign the draft dates released by NEC. Any attempt to delay the processes would referred to as acts of undermining the 1991 constitution. Such actions might spark tension and cause mayhem in a country with so many challenging issues.
Looking at the economic failures, bad economic policies and economic mismanagement as the possible root causes of the “Austerity Measures” in Sierra Leone, an attempt to further deprive the people of this nation their constitutional right can only add salt to injury.
It is clearly stated in our constitution that elections must be held when parliament dissolves or at the commencement of a new constitution. The Constitution provides that Parliament should dissolve five years from the date of start of its first sitting. If we are to go by that, all elections must be held in January 2018. Furthermore, the constitution requires the Electoral Commission to conduct Parliamentary elections not earlier than thirty days; but should not exceed ninety days after dissolution. Nominations may open at any time during the ninety days but they should not close in less than fourteen days. This is to prevent one of the ninety-nine tricks that previous regimes allegedly used to win elections. They closed nominations in such a short time after dissolution that their opponents were deprived opportunities to be nominated.
There are some similarities between the National Constitution and that of the SLPP. NEC is the supreme body (the only legit institution) responsible to fix any/all dates for elections. The moment the president signs the said draft dates, then he has no power or right to the processes of any elections. *Not* even does he have the power to stop the elections. This is where our Chief got it wrong, forgetting the fact that it was NEC that met and approved the dates for the said elections.
Let’s take a look at the bigger picture here. Our President can only be given *More Time* in extreme circumstances, as was in the case when Sierra Leone was at *War.* But in our present situation, the country is not at war. And thus the talks of more time can only be seen as a way of extending the suffering of the populace of a dying nation. Our biggest problems of the moment are the *Austerity Measures* that have affected everyone living within the shores of this country, except for the 1% that have access to government unchecked coffers.
Mr president, we the Youths of SLPP are demanding that you sign the draft dates for elections to commerce so as to follow procedures for elections prescribed by this 1991 Constitution.
Mr President your *“ Allegiance”* to Sierra Leone means “Loyalty or Commitment” to Sierra Leone. In this case, all we are asking you for is your commitment to the process by signing the draft dates that is released by *NEC.* We are actually not asking for much.
Long live the people of Sierra Leone
Long live SLPP
One country one people
*Aspiring Candidate National Young* *Generation Leader*