Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sierra Leone elections: President Koroma's speech...

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma’s speech delivered at his swearing-in at the State House on November 23, 2012. The speech was made shortly after it was announced by the National Electoral Commission that Ernest Bai Koroma was elected to a second term in office.

“Honorable Speaker of the House, my lady, the Chief Justice, members of the diplomatic and consular core, fellow Sierra Leoneans, by the grace of God, I have again been elected as your president. The people have spoken. And their collective will has prevailed. I give praise and thanks to the almighty god for the great honor bestowed upon me to lead this great nation for a second time.”

“This is a win for every Sierra Leonean. And I thank Sierra Leoneans for bringing about this victory for the land that we love. Sierra Leoneans displayed maturity, patience, and tolerance during the elections. These are enduring Sierra Leonean values. And we must continue to display them to sustain our peace, our democracy, and our development.”

“We deeply appreciate the commitment of the National Electoral Commission, the Political Party Registration Commission, and the security forces. Through the Constitution of this country, and the sacred tenants of democracy, peace and security. We also applaud the many other state agencies, domestic and international monitors, civil society groups, and the media, for their positive contributions to ensuring credible, transparent, and peaceful elections in the country.”

“My fellow Sierra Leoneans, you have given me and my party – the All People’s Congress – the mandate to govern our country for the next five years. You endorsed the achievements we made with the Agenda for Change, and asked us to continue on with the Agenda for Prosperity. This is my new contract with you.”

“We will focus on creating jobs for the youths and on training our youths to seize the immense employment opportunities we are creating in the construction, mining, agriculture, and other sectors.”

“We will continue with the infrastructure development programs. We will continue to attract investment. We will continue to fight corruption. We will continue to protect and promote the rights of every woman, every man, youth, child, journalist, and civil society activist. The time for politics is over. The moment for continuing the transformation has come. This is the time for all of us to embrace each other. In the name of Mama Sierra Leone, let all APC supporters embrace every SLPP [Sierra Leone People's Party] supporter and supporters of other political parties. I am inviting the leadership of the SLPP and other political parties to join the leadership of the APC in moving this country forward.”

“The job at hand requires the goodwill and positive energy of the membership of all political parties. Fellow Sierra Leoneans, democracy respects divisions. Good governance transcends divisions. I will make sure that the fruits of the Agenda for Prosperity are equality-distributed in every district and every region of the country. Our creation of jobs will be for the youths all over the country. Our focus on skills for employment will be for the youths of every political party. We will construct roads in every region, continue to bring electricity to every district, develop agriculture in every chiefdom, and provide free healthcare for mothers and children in every village. The work starts today.”

“We know Sierra Leoneans everywhere are celebrating this victory. But let us celebrate within the law. Let us celebrate with grace, tolerance, and goodwill, that must be the cornerstone of the job at hand. Let us, as we celebrate, be mindful that work starts today. And every Sierra Leonean, from all political parties, regions, ethnic groups, age, and religion, is central to our Agenda for Prosperity. We must therefore embrace each other as we march forward with action, bravery, commitment, discipline, empathy, and fortitude. I assure you all that with tenacity of purpose and with [inaudible] courage and determination, we will sustain our peace, democracy, and development. The future beckons with high hopes for a prosperous Sierra Leone, who’s sons and daughters will live together in peace, harmony, and enjoy the abundant fruits of our labor.”

“God bless you all.”

Thanks to @tlupick for the transcript.

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