By: Mustapha Sheriff
Claim: Two members of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Party in Kono District, Isata Fellicia Wieh Philips and Emmanuel
Sahr Yongai, have withdrawn their candidature after being nominated to run as Members of Parliament in Kono district under the APC.
Acting APC Chairman of Kono District, Sahr Mattia, and District Elections Manager/District Returning Officer of Kono District, Osman Joe Kamara, have confirmed the withdrawal of candidature by Isata Fellicia Wieh Philips and Emmanuel Sahr Yongai last month after their nomination by the APC.
In two separate letters dated May 8th and 9th, 2023, Isata Fellicia Wieh Philips and Emmanuel Sahr Yongai officially withdrew their candidature from the APC, effective immediately. The letters, titled “Withdrawal of Candidature from the APC,” were widely circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp platforms, catching the attention of the public.
Methodology: To verify the authenticity of the withdrawal letters circulating online, the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom contacted various individuals involved. They reached out to Isata Fellicia Wieh Philips and Emmanuel Sahr Yongai, the two APC members in question, as well as the Acting Chairman of APC Kono District and the District Elections Manager/District Returning Officer of Kono District.
Through phone conversations, Isata Fellicia Wieh Philips and Emmanuel Sahr Yongai confirmed their withdrawal of candidature from the Elections Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) after being nominated by the APC party in Kono District. The Acting Chairman of APC Kono District and the ECSL District Returning Officer also acknowledged receiving the withdrawal letters from both candidates.
However, it was clarified by the ECSL District Returning Officer that the APC informed him about removing Fellicia’s name from the list of nominated candidates in Kono, whereas Emmanuel Sahr Yongai’s name remained on the list.
Attached are copies of the withdrawal letters from Isata Fellicia Wieh Philips and Emmanuel Sahr Yongai
Meanwhile, Sahr Mattia, the Acting APC Chairman of Kono District expressed no regret over Fellicia’s resignation from the APC, stating that she had affiliations with two different political parties. He mentioned that Fellicia was initially placed #6 on the candidate list but was raised to #4 due to the intervention of some APC stakeholders. However, Fellicia unexpectedly went for nomination under the PMDC without informing the APC, resulting in her resignation from the APC and withdrawal of her candidature.
Isata Fellicia Wieh Philips clarified that she had resigned from the APC before withdrawing her candidature based on the advice of her constituents. She confirmed joining the PMDC and being nominated under their ticket.
Emmanuel Sahr Yongai also confirmed his withdrawal from the APC but remains a member of the party in Kono District. He mentioned winning the party primaries with a higher vote count than his opponent. However, his name did not appear as the first-choice candidate, leading to disappointment among his supporters. Despite stepping down from the race, he has no intentions of defecting to another political party.
Conclusion: The rumours surrounding the withdrawal of candidature from ECSL by two APC members in Kono District have been confirmed as true.
This fact-checked article is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.
The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.
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