January 12, 2018 By Mohamed Massaquoi
Executive Director of the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) has noted that they are very much concerned about how political parties contesting the March 7 elections are being financed to run their campaigns.
Andrew Lavalie, while addressing civil society, media and political parties’ representatives at a stakeholders’ dialogue forum at Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel yesterday, observed that since political activities commenced in the country no political party has published their campaign account for members of the public to get a sense of where and how they are getting their money.
He also expressed concern that 40 percent of women would not be awarded symbols, contrary to what they had clearly stated in the Citizen’s Manifesto, as the recent award of party symbols for local council seats indicate.
“The impact of our collective efforts in promoting the Citizen’s Manifesto have been tremendous. We have seen Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray – the presidential candidate for the Alliance Democratic Party – declare his asset. Other political leaders have consented doing the same,” he said.
He added: “It is important to note that 70 percent of women want to vote for their peers and it would be unfortunate for political parties to deny them symbol. We want to see how the nominations are going on among political parties because it will be a shame if the number of female parliamentarians could go down in the 2018 elections.”
Leader of the Standing Together for Democracy Consortium, Dr. Mamoud Tarawallie, said the Citizen’s Manifesto looked at seven key priority areas, including asset declaration, campaign financing, youth and women representation, among other things and that they have organised series of radio programmes around some of issues so that political parties could consider the seven priority areas in their manifestoes.
He said the forum was organised so that stakeholders could discuss some of the issues ahead of crucial elections in Mrach.
“The importance of this meeting is that we will be able to look at the 7 key priority areas. As we get closer to election, it is important that we came back to look at this document and how we can move the electoral process forward,’’ he concluded.