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Today is ‘Tripartite Report Day’ in Sierra Leone

HomeNewsToday is ‘Tripartite Report Day’ in Sierra Leone

Today is ‘Tripartite Report Day’ in Sierra Leone

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In Sierra Leone today, June 19, 2024, the Tripartite Committee, with mandate to address allegations of election malpractices and promote democracy and accountability, will be presenting its Final Report and Recommendations. Hence, the Day has been fondly described by many Sierra Leoneans as “Tripartite Report Day”.

People believed that the Committee’s Report and Recommendations could promote democracy and accountability and will further represent a critical turning point, potentially determining the future stability of the country.

Sadly though, few days to today’s Report and Recommendations presentation, the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Party withdrew its participation in the Committee.

The Party said the decision is primarily due to the refusal of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) led government representatives at the Committee to continue discussions with the APC counterparts on the verification of the results as announced by Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (EC-SL).

The APC also informed that the move is because the SLPP counterparts have refused to release the disaggregated votes by polling station, despite the APC’s willingness to adhere to the Terms of Reference and the signed Agreement on National Unity.

After the 2023 elections, the APC Party, along with members of the international community and election observer groups such as the National Election’s Watch (NEW), claimed that the elections were manipulated and called for a second round.

However, the SLPP rejected these claims, insisting that the elections were free, fair, and credible. To address these conflicting perspectives, the Tripartite Committee was established to investigate the allegations raised by the opposition and observers.

The Committee’s mandate, according to a Communiqué signed by both the SLPP and APC in October of the previous year, was to investigate the issues raised and complete its probe within six months.

Initially, many Sierra Leoneans were optimistic that the Committee’s findings might support calls for fresh elections. But as the investigation progressed, it became clear that the Committee would not recommend a re-run but would instead focus on making broader recommendations for electoral reforms.

This realisation caused significant anxiety among citizens to know what be the contents Committee’s Recommendations in today’s Report.

Many people who spoke to AYV are anticipating positive Recommendations that will help to improve electoral integrity in Sierra Leone, and unlikely to call for new elections.

Critics within the APC question the feasibility of the SLPP-led government implementing new electoral laws and rules, given its alleged violations during the last election.

The SLPP views the Tripartite Committee as a potential instrument for fostering national peace and unity. The ruling party dismisses speculation about a possible re-run, steadfastly asserting that the 2023 elections were fair and credible.

The SLPP believes that the Committee’s work could bridge political divides and promote reconciliation among Sierra Leoneans.

It is widely expected that the Committee’s Final Recommendations to be presented today, will significantly influence Sierra Leone’s political landscape.

The Recommendations, likely focusing on electoral reforms, will not satisfy all parties equally but there is hope that these recommendations will promote unity and peace, guiding the nation toward a more stable and democratic future.

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