EU-backed initiative: PPRC, International Idea introduce political parties manual

Former PPRC Chairperson and EU Ambassador officially launching the Dispute Resolution Guide

By Alhaji Haruna Sani

The launch of the Political Parties’ Dispute Resolution Guide, funded by the European Union and facilitated by the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) in collaboration with International IDEA, marks a significant milestone in Sierra Leone’s political landscape.

Developed under the Sierra Leone Democracy strengthening program with support from EU, the initiative aims to address the longstanding issue of intra-party disputes, which have posed challenges to national peace and cohesion.

In his welcome address at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown where the event was organised, Olushogo A. David, the Executive Secretary of PPRC, underscored the detrimental impact of intra-party conflicts on political parties, often leading to legal battles.

He emphasised the necessity of establishing robust internal mechanisms, such as the District Resolution Committee, to resolve dispute within parties without resorting to external litigation.

David expressed optimism that the Dispute Resolution Manual would serve as a valuable resource in facilitating peaceful conflict resolution within political entities.

European Union Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Manuel Muller, reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to supporting democracy and governance in Sierra Leone. He applauded the collaborative efforts of PPRC and International IDEA in launching the manual, emphasising the importance of managing intra-party disputes to prevent conflicts and promote national peace.

Ambassador Muller highlighted the EU’s longstanding partnership with Sierra Leone in advancing peace, stability, and democracy.

Dr. Idrissa Mahmoud Tarawallie, Head of Country Programme for Sierra Leone at International IDEA, emphasised the pivotal role of political parties in fostering democracy and development.

He underscored the relevance of the manual in promoting functional and stable democracy by equipping parties with effective dispute resolution mechanisms. Tarawallie reiterated the importance of democratic principles in advancing societal progress and underscored the significance of the manual in strengthening democratic practices in Sierra Leone.

Abdulai M. Bangura, the outgoing Chairperson of the PPRC, reflected on the historical context of intra-party conflicts in Sierra Leone, spanning from pre-independence to the present day.

He outlined the challenges faced by the PPRC in managing conflicts within political parties under limited legal mandates. Bangura highlighted the transformative impact of the new Act, which empowered the Commission with enhanced authority to address intra-party disputes effectively.

He emphasised the importance of institutional capacity-building and legislative reforms in strengthening democratic governance and promoting political stability in Sierra Leone.

Hon. Kemokoh Conteh, Chairman, Parliamentary Public Administration and political Affairs echoed the sentiments of previous speakers, but expresses optimism over the documents serving as a tool for national cohesion.

The training of political parties on the use of the manual ends today, Aril 4th 2024.


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