The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) has responded to issues raised by the European Union Election Follow-up Mission on 29th October 2021.
The PPRC stated that the Mission did not disclose the source(s) of its information nor did it provide the data or evidence that informed its conclusions on the Commission.
Such disclosure, the Commission went on, would have not only tended to best practice but also assisted the public in their appreciation of the context of those information.
The Commission explained that with support from the Government, EU and other partners, it has made tremendous strides in the implementation of the recommendations of Elections Observer Missions but that was not acknowledged in the Mission’s Report, even though the assessment of that was the core mandate of their visit.
The PPRC stated that the Mission did not accord the Commission the opportunity to present its own side of the information given them about its conduct, although they had a hour session with the leadership of the Commission.
The Commission is therefore concerned that the principle of natural justice that requires the other Party to be heard was not adhered to by the Mission, adding that the Note Verbal received by the Commission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on the purpose of the visit did not indicate that the Mission was also here on an institutional audit of the Commission over and above following up on the implementation of their recommendations.
Otherwise, the Commission stated, it would have readily obliged them with evidence of how much it has done to maintain a balance in its dealings with Political Parties under a very challenging Political climate which apparently the Mission did not have recourse to.
“The Commission is apprehensive that the Statements in the Report that relate to it (even if made bonafide), may be deliberately taken out of context and unduly used to engender public disaffection for the Commission and undermine the public confidence we are assiduously working to achieve again under very difficult circumstances and again which circumstances did not seem to interest the Mission.” PPRC added.
It went on that the Mission is not oblivious of the fact that detractors abound that would peddle misconceptions of their Statements in terms of context and spirit and freeload from those misconceptions in furtherance of their personal Political interests.
It concluded saying: “We are fearful that Statements like these from a key development partner could be vexatiously used by sore losers on all sides of the political divide to dispute the outcome of the 2023 elections in any event. This is frightening to a nascent and fragile democracy like ours and exposes us elections management bodies personnel to undue preconceived hostility”.
Finally, the Commission stated that although what the Mission was following-up on are recommendations, it continue to look forward to mutually respectful engagements with the EU and other partners on their implementation.