In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Programme, Commissioner Babatunde Pratt says Sierra Leone has come a long way in building our democratic process. This he says has however not been an easy task as we are still faced with the horrors of our past. Regional divide, violence, political intolerance among others he says have marred our political space and if not nip on the bud will affect the growth and political stability of the country.
The DCMC he says is a forum to discuss issues of common concern, including but not limited to breaches of the code of conduct for Political Parties, Candidates and Supporters, before, during and after elections, political intolerance and violence. He opined that the DCMC is an important unit in the work of the PPRC thereby underscoring the need for its reactivation especially at a time like this.
He referred to them as “Ambassadors or Instrument of Peace”. He stressed the need for objectivity and high sense of integrity and impartiality in the exercise of their duties and responsibilities at all times. He admonished them to put Sierra Leone above all other interests and to work zealously to make this country a better place for all.
In his statement, the Chief Electoral Commissioner of NEC, Mr. Mohamed Nfah Alie Conteh says the program the right in the right direction as this will promote peace, tolerance and non-violence as we approach the 2018 elections. He affirmed NEC’s commitment in conducting the elections in a credible manner as the program is a sign of commitment by the PPRC in ensuring that the 2018 elections are peaceful. The DCMC he says should ensure that a level playing field is provided for all parties in their respective district.
In his statement, the representative of the National Security Coordinator, Director of Provision and Boarder Security Mohamed Kamara commended the PPRC for bringing together every institution in the DCMC especially from the sixteen districts to discuss plans ahead of the forth coming election. He noted that the DCMC was established to help in addressing issues of national concern within their respective districts. He says there is a need to have a mechanism in place that will monitor such code and in turn respond to such breaches.
The DCMC he says will serve as a platform to address threats that will affect the outcome of the 2018 elections. He underscored that the district coordinators of the ONS who are members of the committee will use their expertise to help the committee.
In her statement on behalf of the UNDP Country Director, Annette Nalwoga saluted members of the DCMC for their commitment in ensuring that the elections of 2018 are peaceful. She said the UNDP is supporting the PPRC because the peaceful outcome of the elections is very important. She said that the peaceful nature of the elections is crucial and that UNDP holds the view that the outcome of the elections is paramount.
She noted that the country have come a long way and should resist any event that will derail the development of the country. UNDP she says is passionate about the role women and youth play in the electoral system. Children she says should always be protected.
A pledge to adhere to the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the District Code Monitoring Committee (DCMC) formed the highpoint of the programme as they pledged to uphold the values of the DCMC at all times; to be ambassador’s of peace wherever they find themselves; to always support peaceful actions; to always reject and denounce all forms of violence and intimidation; to manage sensitive information and refrain from divulging it to the community or the public without authorization; to treat everyone with respect especially women, youth and people with disabilities; to resist all forms of discrimination against women, youth and people with disabilities and to put Sierra Leone’s interest above all else in their words and actions and in the discharge of their duties.
Presentations were made on the Mandate of the PPRC, Terms of Reference of the DCMC and the Code of Conduct for Political Parties, Candidates and Supporters