PPRC coy to release report
October 25, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The ruling All People’s Congress (APC) and the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) both conducted their national delegates’ conventions on the 14 and 15 October 2017 in Makeni and Freetown respectively.
During both conventions, the two main political parties in the country announced their presidential candidates for the March 7, 2018 presidential election.
While the APC through their Chairman and Leader, President Ernest Bai Koroma, selected Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara as their presidential candidate, and Hon. Chernor Ramadan Marju Bah as running mate, a little over 600 SLPP delegates from across the country elected Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio as their standard bearer.
Local observers have given both conventions a clean bill of health in so far as the peaceful manner in which delegates and party officials conducted their affairs.
However, the Political parties Registration Commission (PPRC) – the statutory body responsible to regulating activities of political parties – is yet to come out with preliminary reports on what they observed at the two events, more than a week after both parties completed.
Just after the conclusion of the SLPP National Delegates’ Conference in Kenema last month, where the party elected national officers to run the affairs for the next two years, the PPRC was quick to come out with a preliminary report, indicating their findings.
However, it is over a week since the conclusion of both conventions and the commission is yet to make public what their findings.
When contacted last week to comment on the outcome of both conventions, PPRC’s Outreach Officer, Lucien Momoh said: “I cannot comment now. We will be releasing our preliminary findings during the week. I was at the APC convention in Makeni but I cannot comment on it and leave the SLPP one out.”
When Concord Times contacted him again yesterday, he couldn’t say when exactly the commission will be releasing their report on both conventions. It could be recalled that when the SLPP held their Kenema conventions – to elect national executives – the PRCC immediately came out with a release, giving the process a clean bill of health.
The delay to release both reports by the country’s regulatory body on political parties’ activities is seen by some observers as a dereliction of duty as it is incumbent upon the commission to speak without fear or favour how political parties conduct their internal activities.
Meanwhile, a political pundit has opined that the tight lips by the PPRC meant the commissioner may be “coy to call a spade a spade” as the conduct of the ruling party’s convention was anything but democratic.