December 11, 2017 BY Dusuba Koroma
The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) has re-activated District Code Monitoring Committees to serve as the eye of the commission during and after next March multitier elections.
The committees are established in each district in Sierra Leone and operate on the same principles as the National Monitoring Committee. The basis for the activities of the committee is contained in the Political Parties Code of Conduct, which was signed by all Political Parties on 23rd November 2006, with subsequent revisions and amendment in 2012 and 2017 respectively.
The purpose of the District Committee, like that of the National Monitoring Committee, is to discussion issues of common concern, including any breach in the codes during and after elections.
Commissioner Babatunde D.R. Pratt Esq., who chaired the meeting, stated that the country has come a long way in building a democratic culture.
He said regional divide and political intolerance have affected the country’s democratic process, while describing the DCMC as an important committee in the commission.
“As DCMC members, your role, I must emphasise, is integral to the peace and stability of our country. You are the eye of the people as ambassadors or instrument of peace,” he said and urged committee members to endeavor to promote peace at all times in their respective districts.
He maintained that committee members are expected to be objective and exhibit high sense of integrity and impartiality in the exercise of their duties and responsibilities.
Chairman National Electoral Commission (NEC), Mohamed Nfa-Alie Conteh, said the initiative to re-activate the committee was timely as it would help promote peace in the run up to and after the elections.
On behalf of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Madam Annette Nalwoga, commended the work of PPRC and maintained that elections in particular are often marred by violence and suffering, with the most vulnerable group being women and children.
She urged members of the DCMC to pay particular attention to the needs of these groups and assured the UNDP’s support to the committee through the PPRC.