The President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) Ahmed Sahid Nasralla has stressed on the need to have a political debate for the 17 registered political parties in order for citizens to hold the politicians accountable to deliver on their promises.
He made this statement during the National Political Debates Committee engagement on radio in Bo in order to educate the public on the forth coming Political Debate ahead of the 2023 general elections that will be broadcast live by SLBC TV, AYV and Independent Radio Stations.
Mr. Nasralla said that after the 2018 political debate was successfully conducted with support from National Democratic Institute (NDI), they went to the drawing board and agreed on having the National Political Debates Committee with people from different sectors including women, disables, youth, Political Parties, Media, Political Parties Regulation Commission and the Election Management Bodies to conduct political debates.
This time again he said we want to bring the political parties together to fight with ideas in letting the electorates know what they intend to do for them so that the people can make an informed decision who to vote for in the 2023 elections.
SLAJ President said that ‘’ we want the election to base on issues and that they are engaging the political parties through the PPRC to discuss on the propose debase when it comes to the topic, adding that the seventeen political parties will be engaged
He said that the political debate is not supported by political parties but the NDI and maintained that the level playing field will be created for all the political parties.
According him, Women’s debate featuring the 17 political parties will be on the topic: What role your party plays in ensuring the effective implementation of the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Act 2022 and it will take place on the 19th January 2023 at the New Brookfield Hotel in Freetown.
The Youth Debate on the topic: How will your party address youth unemployment, drug abuse, and the spread of hate speech and disinformation, as threats to national security, peace and cohesion and will take place on the 12 January 2023 at New Brookfield’s Hotel, Freetown.
And the People With Disabilities (PWD) Debate is on the topic: What will your party do to promote the inclusion and active participation of PWDs in political parties and will take place on the 26th January 2023 at New Brookfield Hotel in Freetown.