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Sierra Leone News: Keilie quits SLPP flag-bearer race

Andrew Keilie

Andrew Keilie

The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has suffered yet another setback as a high-profile intending flag-bearer aspirant, Andrew Keili, quits the race. “Violence and intimidation, abusiveness, tribalism and regionalism, illegalities in elections, and intolerance have become the hallmark of the Party, putting it in a bad light with a disappointed public,” said Keili.
At a press conference on Wednesday at the SLAJ Hall, Keili said, “Elections are a process. If you have more than three years of people doing the wrong thing, and they have not been behaving in an equitable fashion by bending the rules including delegate lists, violence and intimidation – those people won’t change overnight.” Keili said, “It has become obvious that the outcome of the election of flag-bearer at the imminent convention is a ‘fait accompli’ as a spate of illegal and irregular actions have ensured this.”
Keili said he was vying for the position of flag-bearer for the second time because he wanted to win and change the country for the better. “There are various positions in politics and you have to be convinced to take part. For me, it’s never been about being flag-bearer.”
“When the playing field is not level and the situation is messy… I am not going to come in because it is not about me but people messing up the Party.”
In 2011, Andrew Keili vied for the position of flag-bearer aspirant but came third. He said, “Since then, the Party has been unduly preoccupied with the Presidential flag-bearer issue. Dissenting views by some of us on remedial measures to put the party on a good footing fell on deaf ears.
He alleged that, “the National Executive, composed predominantly of loyalists to the previous flag-bearer. The Party has been preoccupied with making most decisions that would give him an undue advantage in the flag-bearer race.”
“The Party has not done a performance review to address its failings and meanwhile, its administrative and financial capacity to address current and future needs remains severely constrained.”           BM/13/9/17
By Betty Milton
Thursday September 14, 2017.

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