Can NEC and or the Supreme Court legally set a date for a presidential run-off elections outside the 14 day period mandated by the Constitution?
No. By section 42 (2)(f) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991, a presidential run-off election "shall" be held within 14 days from the date of the announcement of the first round of the election result. This is a mandatory constitutional provision. Neither the Supreme Court nor NEC can legally alter this position. By section 108 (1) of the Constitution, only Parliament may alter the Constitution. By ordering that a run-off election be held outside the constitutionally mandated 14 day period, is the Supreme Court not altering the position of and or violating the Constitution in this respect? To my mind, it is and illegally so.
From the outset, to many observers, the two manifestos of the two main political parties in Sierra Leone are similar in many ways, though written using different connotation.
Of course, it is no surprise that the APC and SLPP have similar plans because these two parties have been the only political parties to have ruled this country for the past fifty-six odd years, and therefore, they know the real and artificial problems facing this country; and possibly, even how to resolve these problems.
The one that many thought was a stranger to politics or even to the people of Sierra Leone now seems to be the best weapon the All Peoples Congress has in its arsenal for the coming national elections. The eloquence of Dr Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara is now seen as one of his selling points, a unique advantage that he has over all other contenders. In a campaign where attributes of public speaking and command of economic and geo-political dynamics mark one candidate above the rest, Dr Samura Kamara expertise in articulating the precepts of economic development and strategies to address issues of macro-economic significance to Sierra Leone show why he was chosen as the best out of a field of 28 others for the position of APC flag bearer at Makeni in 2017.
With elections fast approaching, there are clear signs that Sierra Leone’s political discourse is growing up. March 7, 2018 is D-day for Sierra Leone’s electorate. The country will go to the polls and vote for new representatives – MPs, mayors, councillors, district council chairs and of course, a president who will determine our future for the next five years.
Sierra Leone has had over a decade and a half of peace, nevertheless when we hold elections, the rest of the world still looks at us warily.