WE YONE newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Ruling All Peoples Congress (APC), published Friday September 16, 2016 in its front page lead story with strap “As some Foreign Powers seek Regime Change ,,,,,, 2018”, on top of the banner headline – APC STILL LEADING OPINION POLL AHEAD OF 2018 ELECTIONS – with a large sized photograph of the National Secretary General of the Ruling APC Ambassador Osman Yansaneh in the main body of the story.
The article stated among other things,”this covert diplomatic sabotage, to say the very least, by those diplomatic saboteurs, is contemptible and dangerous; it is indeed unrealistic, irresponsible and unjustified; deliberately seeking to destroy and damage the chances of the RULING APC PARTY GOVERNMENT THAT AT PRESENT HAS AT THE VERY LEAST, 62% CHANCES TO SWEEP AND WIN THE 2018 ELECTION?POLL ” caps mine for emphasis.
According to the WE YONE publication, President Ernest Bai Koroma is popular at the moment, and the APC appears to be tying its success in the February 2018 National Elections, to the popularity of President Koroma , who is the current Chairman and LEADER of the APC.
A Group, calling itself SIERRA LEONEANS FOR DEMOCRACY, has proposed to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), A Parliamentary Democracy System of Government, to wit, which ever political party wins a general election and has the majority of seats in Parliament, like in Britain, will form the Government and the LEADER of the Political Party will become PRIME MINISTER – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER of Government..
According to the Group of Sierra Leoneans, both at home and in the diaspora, there will be a TERM LIMIT of five years for the Government in power; and the RULING PARTY CONTINUES IN GOVERNANCE UNTIL IT LOSES A GENERAL ELECTION. The Group of Sierra Leoneans is also proposing a Ceremonial President, who will be an eminent Sierra Leonean to be nominated by the CHIEF EXECUTIVE PRIME MINISTER.
In Britain, Sierra Leone’s former Colonial master, the Conservative Party, led by late Margaret Thatcher and John Major, was in governance from 1979 to 1997 when they lost the General Election to the Labor Party led by Tony Blair who was in governance from 1997 to 2010 when the party lost the General Election to the Conservative Party led by David Cameron. Each political party was in governance for three consecutive terms.
In Britain the Prime Minister sits in Parliament as an Elected Member. and Cabinet Ministers are appointed from the elected Members of Parliament in a Parliamentary Democracy.
The Group of Sierra Leoneans launched a campaign at a symposium held Thursday September 15, 2016 – International Democracy Day – at the British Council, Tower Hill, Freetown .
It has been reported in local newspapers that some members of the APC are toying with the idea of separating the Chairman from the LEADER of the Party. If they succeed and President Koroma retains the position of LEADER of the APC and another member of the party is elected/selected as Chairman to run the day to day affairs of the Party, then President Koroma can be qualified to run in the February 2018 Parliamentary race, that is if the Parliamentary Democracy System of Government is adopted.
With his current “popularity”, the APC can simply allocate the party symbol to President Koroma, who will turn 63 years next month, born on October 2, 1953, for him to contest in the constituency he won in the 2002 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections and became Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. If the APC wins the Parliamentary Election in February 2018, President Ernest Bai Koroma, as LEADER of the APC political Party, automatically becomes the FIRST EXECUTIVE PRIME MINISTER, under A Parliamentary Democratic System of Government and will then be in the position to name an eminent Sierra Leonean as the ceremonial President of Sierra Leone.
President Ernest Bai Koroma is on record for encouraging Sierra Leoneans to come up with ideas. and has said “the CRC must listen to everyone, and come up with a document that will make governance better; that will deepen democracy; that will make everybody feel part and parcel of government machinery”.
The 80-man Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) has been meeting behind closed doors since Wednesday July 27, 2016 in the Miatta Conference Hall, Youyi Building to write the final report of the “to be Constitution of Sierra Leone” and according to the Chairman of the CRC, The Honourable Justice (R) Edmond Cowan, .the Plenary Session has been analysing the reports from the various sub committees in order to produce the final report.
Justice Edmond Cowan has stated that members of the CRC, during the Plenary Session, has been deliberating on the issues raised by members of the public, after the publication of the abridged draft report earlier this year.
“We will not come out publicly with the final report, but will present it to the Government sometime in September, 2016. The Government will come out with a WHITE PAPER, that is when the public will know what is in our final report , what the Government agrees with, and what it disagrees with,” the CRC Chairman has been quoted as saying.
Recounting the further steps to be taken after the presentation of the final report to the Government, Justice Cowan has said “from the point of the Government issuing its White Paper on the Final Report, an Amendment Bill to the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone will be prepared and taken to Parliament,” where the Ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) political party has a two-thirds majority.
“When Parliament would have passed it with a two-thirds majority of all of the Members of Parliament, it will go to a National Referendum before the President signs it into LAW”, and there will be the issue of a COMMENCEMENT DATE of the “to be Constitution of Sierra Leone.”
If the National Referendum is conducted during the first half of 2017 and the Amended Constitution is signed into law immediately after, then the General Elections – Parliamentary and Local Council – will be conducted as scheduled for February 2018. .
WE YONE newspaper went on to give a breakdown of the votes cast by regions in the 2012 National Elections and concluded as follows:- “the Party’s Presidential Candidate for the 2018 Presidential election is at least 62% certain and sure to sweep the poll in the very first ballot without a re-run or run-off. Therefore, we would respectfully advise those Foreign Powers engaged in COVERT moves to effect a REGIME CHANGE in Sierra Leone in the 2018 elections to Please!…….Please!!…….Please!!!…….Grow down with that dishonourable sabotage..
CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY OOR
2006 AP (ASSOCIATED PRESS) GRAMLING SPIRIT AWARD WINNER
RETIRED (1989) CONTROLLER (NEWS & CURRENT AFFAIRS)
FORMER MINISTRY OF INFORMATION & BROADCASTING.