Pursuant to their Constitutional and Statutory mandates, the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and the Electoral Commission Sierra Leone (ECSL), in consultation with the Office of National Security (ONS) has informed the leadership of the All People’s Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) that effective today 13th June 2022, all political party rallies for the bye-election in Constituency 56 in Tonkolili district are banned until further notice.
The decision according to the electoral bodies is informed by the violence that occurred during the APC rally on Tuesday 7th June, 2022 in Sambaia Bendugu which culminated in personal attacks and the destruction of private properties in the said locality.
Both Commissions deem this unfortunate event with distaste and in contravention of instructive provisions of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, the Political Parties Act of 2002, the Public Elections Act of 2012 and the Code of Conduct for Political Parties, Candidates and Supporters.
In the interim, the campaign calendar issued by ECSL remains valid on the condition that parties can only now campaign on their respective dates in a designated location within the constituency and must inform the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) of the location at least 24 hours before the event.
PPRC and ECSL, therefore, called on the leadership of the Sierra Leone Police to expedite the investigation of the event of 7th June, 2022 and bring to book those responsible for the violence.
In similar development, the United Nations in Sierra Leone has also expressed concern over the violent incidents.
The United Nations deeply condemned all forms of violence and called on all parts of society – including political leaders and party supporters, traditional and religious leaders, national and local institutions, and citizens in general – to commit to a spirit of tolerance and to work together to maintain peace in Sierra Leone.
The United Nations in Sierra Leone called for a prompt investigation of the incidents so that perpetrators may be brought to justice; while urging political parties to resolve political differences.