• October 17, 2023

EU REPORT DENTS DR SAMURA, APC PROSPECTS …adds to US Ambassador’s advice 

EU REPORT DENTS DR SAMURA, APC PROSPECTS  …adds to US Ambassador’s advice 
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The European Union – EU report on the 24th June, 2023 general election has once again further dented the prospects of the All Peoples Congress – APC as a party and its presidential candidate, Dr Samura Kamara, ever achieving their demands.

This report was delivered before the commencement of the first of a two day dialogue session aimed at addressing the issues the party and Dr Samura hope to accomplish. The dialogue started yesterday and is expected to end today, Tuesday, 17th October, 2023 at Bintumani Hotel.

Among several recommendations and points of focus, the report in its final analysis of the 24th June, 2023 presidential result dispute, advised the APC and Dr Samura Kamara to seek redress of the matter in the courts. This advice is in league with the one given to the party and its flagbearer by new US Ambassador David Hunt for the party to return all its elected Members of Parliament and the local and city councils at a special US-APC/Dr Samura Kamara dialogue session held at the party’s Old Railway Line, Brookfields office in Freetown several days ago.

Both advices hit at the core of the APC’s boycott agenda as they make categorical suggestions that harken to their final decisions on the matter, which put the ball, right back in the court of the APC and Dr Samura Kamara.

In their reaction to the presidential result announcement by the chief electoral commissioner, Mohamed Konneh, the APC has refused to take part in the running of the state and taking the matter to the judiciary unless they either have a rerun of the elections or a release of the disaggregated polling station level data from all the polling stations across the country.

This, the party hopes to accomplish while at the same time avoiding participating in government and taking the matter to the judiciary. Ironically these two institutions are the only redress mechanisms prescribed in our nation’s 1991 Constitution to settle such an impasse.

These pieces of advice then force the APC, Dr Samura Kamara and the people of Sierra Leone to look within to solve the impasse without outside interference or influence. It forces the nation to put trust in the one institution that is considered the most corrupt by the people of Sierra Leone, the judiciary. Together with the heads of the police, army, prisons and so much more, the president hires the head of the judiciary with the widespread belief coupled with proof that they all take directives from the nation’s chief executive, the President of the Republic.

There is widespread perception that the decisions of the judiciary had long been compromised with the head of the judiciary being appointed by the president. Adding further to the APC’s decision to steer its opposition to the presidential election announcement from the courts is the fact that several cases the APC took to the judiciary were either not resolved or resolved to reflect the desires of the president and his political party.

The people and APC party doubt that the judiciary will pass any judgement on the elections dispute that will fulfil anything the APC or Dr Samura Kamara are demanding. They do not expect the judiciary to act as their counterparts in Kenya acted after they cancelled the decisions of the electoral commissioner in declaring the winner of the presidential election, thereby making room for a rerun of the elections.

The people doubt that the court system will act according to the dictates and the true spirit and intent of the laws governing our elections. The party and its flagbearer are expected to trust the court system while still having to contend with the fact that their 2018 objection to the same presidential elections announcement that pronounced Julius Maada Bio as the winner was not addressed by the very court four years after the petition was made. If the courts failed to address or schedule the matter, if it failed to send disputed MP elections results back for a rerun as per the constitution, but instead decided on such cases that resulted to 10 duly elected MPs being replaced with their runners up from the SLPP (while the one constituency where the SLPP did not finish second was scheduled for a rerun, that was won by the APC in Goderich), how do we expect them to address the 2023 presidential result impasse?

The EU and US Ambassador’s advice forces us as a nation to deal with one issue we have always conveniently swept under the carpet in the hope that if not addressed, would fix itself: how we see and trust the judiciary, and how we expect them to behave when they have consistently failed to act or judge as expected.

This then brings us full circle and back to base one. Our so-called moral guarantors have thrown the ball right back into our court, calling on us to trust the House and Judiciary to act as our moral guarantors. With their report and advice the EU and US have wiped their hands off the matter and have left it up to us. This leaves us with the critical question of, if the APC does not return to either parliament or take this case to the judiciary for redress, how then do they hope to accomplish their demands when the SLPP and president Julius Maada Bio are hoping that he will complete his second term, which is the very demand the APC is trying to prevent?

Will running street protests to address the issue be the party’s next recourse to settling the impasse? Where does that leave the government’s protectors, the Sierra Leone Police and Army?

Once again it would appear as if Julius Maada Bio and the SLPP have managed to throw the APC and Dr Samura Kamara into another tailspin that will create another internal turmoil for the APC that will not prevent the party from seeking the very judiciary for redress, as they had to during the first term regime of president Bio including but not limited to the Alfred Peter Conteh and NRM court cases.

The process of returning to parliament and waiting on a court date and process leading to a resolution of the matter could see the incumbent slowly accomplishing or fulfilling his second term mandate, with all these issues taking place in the background.

Sadly for the hopeful people, the main opposition and diplomatic and other international agencies in the country that have been hopeful of a new day in our elections narrative, they will have to wait for a time the nation’s judiciary and our laws have matured to where they will behave according to their conscience and the dictates and intent of the true spirit of the law, not based on considerations from without and how it would affect the tenure of their positions.

We know the experiences of those who decided to act and perform their duties according to their terms of references, including but not limited to the suspended Auditors General of the Audit Services Sierra Leone. Lonta!

 

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