The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has locked horn with the civil society coalition which described the statement made by its Presidential candidate, Brigadier (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio as ‘inflammatory’.
A civil society coalition had condemned General Bio for threatening coup if the re-run election was aborted. Bio is a former Military leader accused of so many atrocities when he was a military Head of State.
The party berated the coalition in statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday. Read the detailed statement below:
“Our attention has been drawn to a Press Statement issued by the National Election Watch dated 27th March 2018 titled “NEW condemns inflammatory statements from political leaders” in which NEW described as “inflammatory” statements made by the Presidential Candidate of the Sierra Leone People’s Party while responding to the Party’s position on the recent interim injunction.
“It is regrettable that NEW was not in attendance at the Press Conference nor the Meeting with elections observers convened at the Radisson Blu on Sunday 26th March 2018. Clearly, from the NEW statement they failed to specifically mention which aspect of the “recent statements” was inflammatory. Such a blanket description by NEW without any specificity is a misrepresentation and has the potential to undermine its impartiality as elections observers.
“It is unacceptable that NEW has made public allegation of ‘inflammatory statements’ by the SLPP Presidential Candidate Brigadier (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio without evidence and facts to substantiate this allegation in their statement. We view this as an attempt by NEW to tarnish the reputation of the SLPP Presidential Candidate, Brig (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio in the run-up to the Presidential Run-Off scheduled for Saturday, 31st March 2018.
“The Press Statement delivered by Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio and his subsequent responses to questions from members of the press on Sunday 25th March were robust, strong and reflected the views of many Sierra Leoneans. Throughout the electoral process, Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio has won the admiration of both local and international observers, members of the diplomatic community and the general public for showing restraint in the face of provocations and attacks.
“Furthermore, he has been commended by all for his statesmanship and the responsible manner he has conducted himself to safeguard our nation’s peace and democracy.
“We wish to reiterate that where there are emerging issues that threaten to undermine the electoral process and democratic consolidation, Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio will respond robustly and strongly. We condemn all forms of inflammatory statements but we will also robustly protect our democracy.