By Yusufu S. Bangura
Representatives from different political parties have on Wednesday, May 3rd, made their commitments to continue working with the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) in order to promote peace and non-violence before, during and after the June elections.
They made their commitments during the re-launch and inauguration of the District Multi-Party Forum (DMPF) at the PPRC Conference Room, Lamina Sankoh Street in Freetown.
Political parties present during the ceremony were the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Peoples Democratic Congress (PMDC), ReNIP, RUFP, C4C NGC, among others.
“As political parties, we want to assure the commission that we will come together and work as one big family to make sure that there is a peaceful election for the betterment of our beloved nation,” they assured.
They further stated that they were closer to their leaders and supporters and that they would encourage them not to engage in any form of violence during the June 24th general elections.
The political parties added that since they are now placed in one committee, it shows that they are one big family and that they would take the messages to their different districts.
They reiterated that they would continue to be law abiding and peaceful.
Giving a brief background of DMPF, Executive Secretary for PPRC, Olushogo A. David, said the DMPF is an adjunct of the commission and was created by the Commission in league with the membership of political parties during the signing of the Code of Conduct for Political Parties some years ago.
He said the Code of Conduct which is now subsumed in the new Political Parties Act of 2022, is intended to promote peace and non-violence, as well as political pluralism and ensures that Political Parties’ conduct is in a manner consistent with stipulations of the law and democratic norms.
David said the code prohibits intimidation and interference in the electoral process, adding that the DMPF was formed to act as a forum of discussion of issues of common concern, including breaches of the Political Parties Act No. 25 of 2022 before, during and after the forthcoming elections.
The Executive Secretary for PPRC said the role of the DMPF is to monitor Political Parties adherence to the PPRC Act of 2022, because over the years, the DMPF has not been playing their major roles and responsibilities to address issues relating to political tolerance, promoting non-violence and very importantly providing a forum for fostering dialogue during electioneering period.
Giving the importance of the forum, Olushogo A. David said the relaunch and inauguration of the DMPF will be the re-establishment of a forum of discussion of common concerns in the district and will be instrumental in pre-empting disputes and resolving tensions between and amongst political parties.
“The roles and responsibilities of this forum is to monitor the Conduct of Political Parties and intervenes on simmering conflict and threats to peace in the district. It will give political parties the opportunity to discuss and intervene on simmering conflict, for political parties to discuss ways in which conflict can be prevented. It will also be more effective and timely for parties to deal with breaches and Electoral information sharing for stakeholders to share information relating to election,” he said.
The re-launching and inauguration of the DMPF was chaired by one of PPRC commissioners, Commissioner Alhaji M.B Willian.