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Peace Commission engages stakeholders on election preparedness

HomeAYV NewsPeace Commission engages stakeholders on election preparedness

Peace Commission engages stakeholders on election preparedness

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AYV News May 15, 2023

Executive Secretary – ICPNC, Hawa Sally Samai

The Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC) and Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) have partnered to host a two days stakeholders’ dialogue at the Sierra Bay Hotel in Freetown.

The purpose of the dialogue was to prepare for a free, fair, and incident-free election for the people of Sierra Leone.

During his opening speech, William Carew, the Head of Secretariat for the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU ECOSOC) highlighted the importance of the upcoming election in Sierra Leone for the progress of democracy in the country.

He emphasised the need for democratic institutions and election management bodies to work together to enhance democratic spaces for citizens. The purpose of the dialogue, he explained, was to brainstorm, share ideas, and inform on the readiness for a peaceful, transparent, free, and fair election.

Carew recognised that the challenge of democracy and governance in Africa is not unique to one country and praised the efforts of the African Union and its member states in mitigating these challenges.

He pointed out that the African Union has prioritized the contribution of African civil society in achieving its democratic goals, and has established institutions to enhance their participation.

Specifically, Carew noted the importance of the (AU ECOSOC) in providing a platform for civil society organizations to contribute to the work of the Union. He stated that their mandate is all-encompassing, but their highlight programs have been supporting the African Union’s efforts in enhancing democracy, good governance, peace, and security in Africa.

Zainab Mosery, Commissioner for the Western Area representing the Electoral Commission, emphasized the importance of the event as a platform for open communication within the Sierra Leonean family.

She reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to conducting free, fair, and credible elections in adherence to Sierra Leonean laws. She stressed that free and fair elections, devoid of fear and intimidation, are crucial for a peaceful and favorable outcome that is acceptable to all.

Zainab expressed her concern about the weak links in the political sphere who pose as politicians and seek to destroy Sierra Leone’s progress due to their lack of leadership qualities.

She called on political parties to revisit the essence of their legacies periodically and reminded them of their roles in promoting peace and stability in Sierra Leone. She emphasized that the goal is not about any individual or political party, but the development and leadership of Sierra Leone.

She highlighted that the purpose of conducting elections is to choose leaders who will govern the country and ensure compliance with the law.

Zainab stated that the Commission is looking forward to political parties enforcing their codes of conduct, which are now law, and ensuring that their members comply with them. Zainab reiterated that political parties should focus on selling their agendas, shaping the political will of the people, and promoting peace and the interests of Sierra Leone, rather than resorting to intimidation tactics and abusive language.

She emphasised that the dialogue aims to remind political parties of the essence of their existence and the importance of conducting themselves in a manner that is acceptable to Sierra Leonean laws and values. She stated that the upcoming election is an important story for several reasons.

Firstly, the fact that it is almost entirely funded by the government of Sierra Leone is noteworthy. Additionally, the fact that the election is being fully managed by Sierra Leoneans, unlike in the past, is also significant.

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