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Presidential Candidates for 2023 elections sign Peace Pledge

HomeAYV NewsPresidential Candidates for 2023 elections sign Peace Pledge

Presidential Candidates for 2023 elections sign Peace Pledge

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AYV News May 26, 2023

Presidential candidates of the major political parties contesting in the Sierra Leone 2023 general elections have signed a Peace Pledge towards a peaceful election in June 2023.

All the candidates converged at the Bintumani International Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone on yesterday for the landmark occasion.

Convened by the Inter-Religious Council and the National Council of Paramount Chiefs, the Electoral Pledge is supported by international stakeholders and a coalition of civil society organisations.

Thursday’s ceremony serves as a platform for presidential candidates and the political parties of Sierra Leone to publicly commit to upholding peace before, during and after the upcoming elections and to use the judicial system for any electoral disputes.

The Pledge will reinforce existing national efforts towards peaceful election processes, national cohesion, and a stable political environment within the country.

After the signing of the Pledge, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio (SLPP) and Dr. Mathew Wilson Samura Kamara (APC) both shared a photo.

The Secretary Generals of the ruling SLPP, Umaru Napoleon Koroma and Lansana Dumbuya of the APC Party also took pictures as a symbol of their commitment to peace.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Commonwealth, African Union, ECOWAS, United Nations, European Union and members of the National Election Pledge Committee.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, said: “Governing takes enormous courage, skill and heart, and I applaud all the candidates who have put themselves forward and all those who sign this election pledge.

“Presidential candidacy comes with a solemn responsibility, because the office of the President is a sacred trust. And this election pledge goes far beyond symbolism.

“It is a promise each candidate makes before the country and the people they strive to serve: to put the nation first, to work together, prioritise the national interests and the unity of Sierra Leone.”

The Commonwealth encouraged similar efforts in the past, most recently in Nigeria ahead of the 2023 elections, helping to support a peaceful electoral process in that country.

This Pledge in Sierra Leone will build upon these previous successes and utilise some of the lessons learned.

Rt Hon Scotland KC emphasised the need for political party leaders to publicly commit to upholding peace before, during and after the upcoming elections and to use the judicial system for any electoral disputes.

“Governing takes enormous courage, skill and heart, and I applaud all the candidates who have put themselves forward and all those who sign this election pledge.

“Presidential candidacy comes with a solemn responsibility, because the office of the President is a sacred trust. And this election pledge goes far beyond symbolism. It is a promise each candidate makes before the country and the people they strive to serve: to put the nation first, to work together, prioritise the national interests and the unity of Sierra Leone.”

Chairman of the Political Parties’ Regulation Commission (PPRC), Abdullai Masiambay Bangura said the document that different leaders of registered political parties had signed was in line with the regulatory framework they had developed for the conduct of all political parties ahead of the June elections.

“As we are here this morning to subscribe our names to that document, it will mean that the PPRC will have a respite for the entire electioneering period. We are now going into the campaign calendar, and so far, there is relative peace. We have been following the campaign trail and it is going well, and substantially, the parties have been well-behaved. So, I will continue to encourage both the leadership of the parties and their presidential candidates to continue with that trend,” he urged.

The Electoral Pledge is also being supported by the African Union Commission; as well as a coalition of Civil Society Organisations like National Election Watch, the Eminent Women Peace Mediators Sierra Leone, and others like the National Youth Commission, the Office of the National Security Coordinator, the Sierra Leone Bar Association, the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists and the Sierra Leone Union on Disability.

 

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