Concern over non-appointment of PPRC commissioners

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March 5, 2019

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NEW’S chairperson, Marcella Samba-Sesay

The National Election Watch (NEW) has in a press release issued yesterday raised serious concern over President Bio’s long unexplained delay in appointing commissioners to the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC)

The Commissioners were dissolved by State House through an Executive Order dated 26 June 2018.

The said Executive Order gave directives for the immediate dissolution of all “oversight boards of parastatals and other state institutions” and until new boards are appointed by the President, “the management of parastatals and other state institutions were strongly advised to seek clarification with the Secretary to the President on any decision requiring approval of boards”.

NEW recalled that the Political Parties Registration Commission was one of the state institutions affected by that Executive Order, which they observed has immensely impaired the effectiveness and functionality of the Commission in the pursuit of its mandate.

According to NEW, the PPRC was established by an Act of parliament (The Political Parties Act 2002) to register and regulate the conduct of political parties in the country, and that it requires daily engagements, consultations and collaboration with different stakeholders that the Commission was established to serve.

They observed that PPRC is a unique establishment with unique responsibilities, and therefore, supporting them to perform these responsibilities will further enhance our democratic credentials as a nation.

“NEW believes that with the current state of the Commission (no commissioners and no sufficient support), the Commission will not be able to perform its responsibilities satisfactorily and its legitimacy will also be weakened. The absence of Commissioners to provide quality leadership, and take key decisions, among other things, is a drawback to the commission,” the release continued.

They called on President Julius Maada Bio and his government to appoint new Commissioners to reconstitute PPRC and to provide the Commission with budgetary support that is adequate enough to make them function effectively.

“We are convinced that if we are to conduct credible, free, fair and peaceful elections in 2023, the time to re-organize and strengthen relevant institutions is now.”