Pressure Mounts on SLPP Government

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Pressure Mounts on SLPP Government

By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara
The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) led government appears to be under immense pressure following the controversial and the forceful laying of the Mid-Term Census Order in Parliament on Monday 19th April, 2021.
Nearly all opposition parties in Sierra Leone are seen to be united against the said Mid-Term Census which they described unnecessary, untimely, waste of much-needed resources and a ploy by the SLPP government to rig the 2023 election.
Through the Consortium of Progressive Political Parties (CoPPP), drawn from thirteen opposition parties, there continues to be massive resistance and rejection for the SLPP’s proposed mid-term census
It could be recalled that few months ago, a total of thirteen (13) opposition parties in Sierra Leone formed an alliance called Consortium of Progressive Political Parties (CoPPP) in a bid to speak with one voice on critical issues of national importance.
Since its inception, the consortium had chiefly among others, raised concerns over the government’s proposed mid-term census, the non-partisan local council bill and the cybercrime bill describing the moves as dictatorial, autocratic, unnecessary and above all, a threat to Sierra Leone’s democracy.

However, it appears the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) led government remains unwilling to either recognize the consortium’s concerns or address them.
Amidst the opposition parties and citizens’ concerns, the SLPP went ahead to bulldoze the census order in parliament despite serious resistance from opposition parliamentarians who accused the government of not consulting them.
That controversial laying of the Mid-Term Census Order in Parliament on Monday, 19th April, 2021 has since sparked fresh uproar among members of the consortium in particular and the citizenry public in general.
In a press conference held on Thursday 22nd April, 2021, members of the consortium bemoaned the violent laying of the census order in Parliament amidst resistance by opposition Members of Parliament.
They described the three years rule of President Bio as displaying autocratic tendencies, adding that the Rule of Law and the country’s hard-earned democracy is under threat.
“We have come to the conclusion that our hard-earned democracy and the Rule of Law are under serious threat due to the increasingly autocratic tendencies of the current SLPP government observed over the past three years.” They stated.
They further bemoaned the failure of the SLPP led government to involve the opposition parties in the running of the state, especially as they believe that “inclusive governance is an indispensable component of a healthy democracy and therefore political parties must be fully involved, especially through consultations, in the elaboration of policies and laws. Unfortunately, opposition political parties which represent over 50% of the voter population of this country have been systematically sidelined and ignored in the preparation of key policies and laws.”
While the government is seen to be ignoring their concerns, members of the consortium continue to exert enormous pressure and are now seen to be taking the fight to save democracy according to them to the next level including nationwide engagements with citizens.
It is unclear whether the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) led government will reconsider its current stands and dialogue with the consortium but what remains clear is the fact the consortium is hell bent on stopping at nothing to have their concerns addressed.
As at press time, there has been no word from the government or its representative to respond to what the opposition parties have alleged as efforts by this press to reach the Minister of Information and the Press Secretary through several calls, whatsapp messages and SMS proved futile.

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