By Benjamin Flowers
Francis Fonseca, Leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), announced this week that he will be stepping down as leader of the party.
Fonseca made the announcement at the PUP headquarters on Thursday, after the party lost the November 4th General Elections, making it their fourth election loss for 2015.
Fonseca explained that he had decided and had indicated for months in advance to those close to him, that if the PUP did not form the government after the elections, he would step down and give way to new leadership.
“I do not intend to do so immediately. I certainly want to make sure there is an orderly and smooth transition. So, I will advise the Chairman of the party to ensure that we put in place a structure for that transition to take place within the next few weeks”, Fonseca said.
He added that he will serve out his term as the duly elected representative for the Freetown constituency. However, at the completion of that term, he will also be removing himself from politics.
The PUP will hold a national convention, at which time the new leadership will be decided. Until then, Fonseca remains the party leader and will operate within that capacity until his successor is chosen.
The PUP won only 12 of the 31 seats during the election. Fonseca conceded that he was surprised to have lost seats in the north and west, which by the party’s statistics should have been secure.
He added that he was also pleasantly surprised with Kareem Musa’s victory in the Caribbean Shores constituency over United Democratic Party candidate, Darrell Bradley.