A stalwart in the governing Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has described the recent news conference held by Steven Sahr Mambu in Freetown questioning the legitimacy of the election of His Excellency President Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio as presidential candidate of the party in the June 2023 polls was illegal, unconstitutional and undemocratic.
According to a letter dated Thursday 19th May 2023, the SLPP stalwart, Abdul Kadiru Kaikai, the claims made by Stephen Sahr Mambu were all false designed to misinform the public, noting that the SLPP National Delegates’ Conference held on 29th December, 2021 in Bo city in the Southern Region was done in accordance with the provisions of the party constitution.
He stated: “Article 16C under the rubric ‘Presidential Elections’ stipulates as follows: -
“1. The Leader of the Party shall be elected by the Conference at a place and time to be stipulated by NEC or the Party Conference as the case maybe;
2. A party member elected as Leader shall be nominated as Presidential Candidate of the party in accordance with the provisions of the National Constitution, this Constitution and Election Rules and Regulations as prescribed under this Constitution.”
ABDUL K. Kaikai furthered that the said election was conducted in accordance with the provisions in Article 16C2 supra, adding that no one contested for the said position other than candidate Julius Maada Bio, who was nominated by Dr. Prince Alexander Harding and seconded by Omaru Napoleon Koroma, and that he eventually went unopposed as no one contested against him.
Mr. Kaikai further stated: “During the said conference in Bo, President Julius Maada Bio as National Leader of the party was duly nominated as presidential candidate for the June 2023 presidential by the National Chairman and the nomination was seconded by the National Secretary General. No other candidate was nominated as presidential candidate during the said conference. Consequent upon which President Julius Maada Bio went unopposed. The Chairman of the Conference asked for any other nominee but nobody came forward.”
The SLPP stalwart further questioned why Stephen Sahr Mambu or any other interested candidate failed to declare their intentions by way of nomination for the said position, as in that conference, Bio was there as a candidate, an ordinary citizen and member of the SLPP, and not there in his capacity as President. Thus, in the eyes of the party, he and all others were equal at the said convention.”
Mr. Kaikai said Stephen Sahr Mambu indicated that he was present during the said conference but said if he was actually interested in the position he should have nominated himself or any other interested person.
He added that in the absence of any contender for that position, Julius Maada Bio was elected as the party’s presidential candidate for the June 2023 polls which, according to him, is nothing short of democracy and is constitutional.
“Does that constitute an infringement on the Party’s Constitution?” Mr. Kaikai queried, adding that the answer to this is an emphatic NO.