The conference, which was scheduled to start officially in the morning of Friday, took off to a late start in the afternoon as delegates were handed their accreditations before being permitted into the hall.
There were also scenes of controversies at the convention, as it only started after the late arrival of one of the flag-bearers aspirants of the party, in the person of Julius Maada Bio who was hours late after the accreditation of all the delegates.
The outgone National Chairman of the party, Bai Shebora Somanoh Kapen, who had earlier declared his interest to contest for the second time, reportedly considered the act as disrespectful and as a result, staged a walked-out from the conference hall with Dr John O. Benjamin, another flag-bearer aspirant, and never returned.
Report also states that despite earlier warning by the Sierra Leone Police based on the decision of the general membership of the SLPP that flag-bearer aspirants will not be allowed to enter the conference hall with security personnel, Maada Bio entered the hall with his full entourage.
The conference is the highest decision-making body of the SLPP, but this year’s was limited to the election of National Officers only, owing to the Supreme Court ruling which declared the current executive ineligible to conduct the flag-bearer elections. The tenure of the Sumana Kapen-led Executive reportedly expired in August 2015.
The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) oversaw the conduct of the convention, pursuant to Sections 6(2) of the Political Parties Act of 2002.
The APC Deputy National Leader and Chairman, Minkailu Mansaray and National Secretary General, Osman Foday Yansanneh witnessed the convention.
The newly constituted national executive has been charged with the responsibility to initiate the process that will lead to the peaceful conduct of the flag-bearer elections early next month at a separate National Delegates Conference.
The ambiance of the convention with 647 delegates, was felt throughout Kenema city and in various parts of the country where it was screened live by AYV TV.
Meanwhile, the National Delegate Conference of the Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP) is scheduled to begin today, 18 September in Bo and end on Wednesday, 20 September.
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