As the Sierra Leone prepares for the holding of Presidential and General Elections, next March, outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma has approved government’s subsidization of nomination fees.
In a press statement released on last Wednesday in Freetown under the signature of the Chairperson of the country’s Electoral Commission Mr. Mohamed N’fah-Alie Conteh, it said President Koroma had approved that “The Government will absorb the difference in cost between the proposed revised fees in the signed political parties resolution and the current fees contained in Statutory Instrument No 13 of 2012.”
According to the release, for the elective office of Local Council the 2012, nominating fee is $1 million Leones ($131.00 USD). The proposed 2018 nominating fee agreed to by political parties for this office is $500,000 Leones ($65.32). The government will subsidize a difference of $500,000 Leones ($65.32)
For the office of Mayor of District Chairman, the nominating fee is $5 million Leone ($653.17). And the proposed fee which political parties agreed to for the 2018 elections was $1.5 million Leones ($196). The Government will absorb the balance of $3.5 million Leones ($457.22).
Parliamentary including Paramount Chiefs and Members of Parliament nomination fee is $10 million Leones ($1,306.34) while the proposed nomination fee for 2018 is reduced to $3 million Leones ($392). The balance of $7 million Leones ($914.44) will be subsidized the government.
For political parties seeking the Office of President of Sierra Leone, the nominating fee is $100,000 million Leones ($13,063) and the proposed amount for 2018 elections is $30 million ($3,919). The Sierra Leone Government will absorb the balance of $70 million ($ 9,144.35).
The government subsidy will ease the hardship of political parties and independent candidates who are struggling to raise the relatively high nomination fee. Total Sierra Leone government subsidy is about $229,000.
President Ernest Bai Koroma is ending his 2nd term as President of the West African state. Registered political parties and independent candidates will contest next March for President and memebers of Parliament of Sierra Leon. Meantime, two new political parties have been certificated by the Political Parties Registration Committee (PPRC) to contest the March, 2018 elections. On Wednesday, the Coalition for Change (C4C) and the National Unity and Reconciliation Party (NURP) received registration certificates in the capital Freetown.
By Emmanuel Abalo
West African Journal Magazine