Posted by: APO | 16 April 2008



Public Information Office (PIO) of UNIOSIL – 16 April 2008


[Disclaimer: Excerpts below are from print media and news agency dispatches. UNIOSIL cannot vouch for the accuracy of the media reports].


1,198 candidates for local council election

The Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Dr. Christiana Thorpe, has disclosed to journalists at a press briefing in Freetown that 1,198 candidates would be contesting the 5 July Local Council election. She said the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) submitted 449 candidates with 19 vying for Mayoral seats and chairmen of municipalities and town councils. The opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) submitted 438 candidates with 19 contesting for Mayorship and chairmanship of municipalities and town councils. The Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) submitted 271 candidates with 15 standing for Mayor and chairmanship. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) submitted 40 candidates with none contesting for either Mayor or chairman for town councils. NEC Executive Secretary, Aiah Mattia, said the Commission had put in place concrete strategies to ensure that the coming local council election would be free, fair, transparent and violence-free, Awoko, The New
Citizen, Concord Times and Salone Times report.


Kono youths determined to protest against mining company

Aggrieved members of the Niminkoro Youth Organization Monday reportedly expressed their determination to protest against the management of Swanfield Mining Company operating in Bandafei village in the Niminkoro chiefdom. Concord Times reports a Youth Leader as saying that the demonstration was to register their disappointment and frustration with the operations of the company. He particularly pointed at their wish to have the lease agreement for No.12 Sand tailing terminated and a fresh bid advertised, or for the area to be released to locals on a ticket basis. The youths are also bitter that the Company had held on to the place for five years without substantial operations that would create employment the chiefdom youths. The report says that the youths were waiting for police clearance to go into action.


Government makes move to tackle food crunch

The government of Sierra Leone has put in place a four point plan to tackle the soaring prices of basic commodities in the country. A release from the Ministry of Information and Communication published in The New Citizen and Standard Times, expressed government concern for the escalating prices of food stuff in the country, which has reportedly impacted the poverty-ridden nation. Though the food crunch is a global phenomenon the release said, the government is assuring the public that efforts were being made to resolve the situation in the short term. As part of its plan to address the food problem, the government has set up a task force to address the high cost of food commodities in the country. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security has also been empowered to employ progressive methods and schemes that would help farmers produce local food stuffs. The government has also prioritised commercial farming, and has encouraged potential investors to embark on food production. Government called on all Sierra Leoneans to effectively participate in farming, the release adds.


Why APC youths in Kono attacked SLPP members

Following recent reports that angry youths of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) last Saturday disrupted a high powered meeting of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and attacked their members, Concord Times today reports that the APC were reacting to a statement they judged as derogatory to Vice President Sam Sumana, made on Radio by SLPP district Parliamentarian. The Honourable Member allegedly referred to the Vice President as “an ungrateful child of the Kono people, who have joined the APC”. The youths reportedly mounted road blocks and proceeded to target the SLPP meeting place at the Kumba Satta Amara hall in Koidu town. The Police intervened with tear gas and dispersed the rioting youths.


Boundary delimitation saga – NEC Chief fires back

The Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Dr. Christiana Thorpe has refuted claims by the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) that the boundary delimitation exercise was not properly conducted. Addressing journalists at their headquarters at wellington, Dr. Thorpe said they held series of consultations with stakeholders across the country before the document was sent to Parliament for approval. She said the boundary delimitation exercise was conducted in accordance with international standards; and stressed that he could vouch for the objectivity of the process, as they had put in place a mechanism to record the progression of the process for posterity. She told journalists that Parliament had approved the ward boundary process because they believed that it was properly conducted, Concord Times, Salone Times and Awoko report.





(Compiled by UNIOSIL, Public Information Office)


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