23 November 2012

Sierra Leone: Political Parties Pledge to Maintain the Peace

Senior officials of seven of the 10 political parties that contested last Saturday's multitier elections yesterday pledged their commitment to ensuring that the country's hard-won peace is maintained even after the pronouncement of results by the Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission, Dr. Christiana Thorpe.

During a press conference convened at the Atlantic Hall of the national stadium in Freetown, the members stated that Sierra Leone is bigger than any political party or individual and therefore everyone should wait patiently until NEC announces the final results before celebrations can begin.

According to the leader and presidential candidate of the Peace and Liberation Party (PLP), Dr. Baba Conteh, their coming together to preach peace was necessitated as a result of the tension that has started building up since the Independent Radio Network (IRN) commenced the announcement of provisional results hours after the close of polls.

He urged supporters of the various parties to stay calm, maintain the peace and wait for the official announcement of the results, while encouraging the losers to accept the outcome.

"The party which will eventually win the elections should know that losers have a part to play in the country's development. We recognize the major role played by NEC in the peaceful conduct of the polls," he said.

Leader and presidential candidate of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Mohamed Bangura, pledged his party's commitment to peace and that he would accept the results for the sake of progress and stability in the country.

He called on supporters of the various parties not to allow politicians to hoodwink them into perpetrating violence, noting: "We all have a role to play to ensure that the peace which we are enjoying is maintained. I will accept the results for the stability and progress of our country."

For his part, secretary general of the main opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie, added that they are committed to peace and would ensure that it is maintained.

Statements were also made by the presidential candidates of the Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP), Eldred Collins; Citizens Democratic Party (CDP), Albert Joshua Carew; United National People's Party (UNPP), Dr. James Obai Fullah; and national chairman of People's Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Prince Coker.

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