2023 elections: Electoral bodies assure effective preparedness

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By Alhaji Haruna Sani

The electoral management bodies have assured the general public that the forth coming elections will be free and fair as effective planning have been put in place.

According to the Chairman of the Political Parties Regulations Commission (PPRC), Abdulai Bangura, they have been following the campaign processes and engagement have been done with paramount chiefs, district representative of all political parties participating in the coming elections and security sector.

He said the purpose was for everyone in that program to allow all political parties to have access in every locality in the country.  

He said they will continue to engage their constituents to be tolerance in there utterances and to be moderate in what they do so that none of them would disenfranchise each other’s right in the communities.

He noted that during the last bye elections, there were lot of challenges faced following the manner in which political parties conducted themselves.

He said it behoves every citizens to come together and treat each other as his/her brother’s keeper as it doesn’t worth people killing themselves for politicians that are coming and leaving after their tenure.  

Justice Komba Kamanda   said the judiciary is oblivious of the challenges ahead and therefore they have significant efforts in other to mitigate those challenges and have positioned themselves well to confront those challenges.

He said the Chief Justice have assigned two judges each to sit on all electoral matters in every district in the country. He said they have moved from just staying in Freetown to deliberate on political cases but with the Chief Justice had assigned judges in the provinces to handle electoral matters.

He said engagement and capacity building trainings have been held with support from UNDP for the judiciary to properly handle electoral matters.

Chairman of Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL), Mohamed K. Konneh said the ECSL did launched an Electoral cycle strategic plan  in 2020 and they have been able to so far complete 90% of their plans, adding that they are hopeful that they will complete it to 100% by the end of the June 24 elections.

He said the election is 95% funded by the government of Sierra Leone and all activity plans have been done so far by staff of the Commission.

He said they are bound to face challenges but with time they will overcome those challenges or maybe try to formulate a permanent voter register as long as there are resources.

He said they would give out soft copy of their voter registrants to political parties but eligible voter’s contacts and residential addresses will not be shared to political parties for security reasons.

He said they have been working within the timeline of the provisions given to them by the Constitution so far and all procedures have been followed.

Keynote speaker, former chairman of the Electoral Commission from Cameroon,

Dr. Fonkam Azu’u said the mandate of the election bodies is to ensure that there be free and fair elections before, during and after every election.  

He said the organizers have done well for the people of Sierra Leone by creating ways to gather all the key players to have things in place so as to enhance peaceful elections.

He said most of the problem that Arise during elections are because of lack of information sharing or the timeliness of the information, adding that for a proper elections to take place, there is need for the political will for the democratic governance of the country.

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