January 19, 2015 By Victoria Saffa
Chairman of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), Justice M.E. Tolla Thompson, has informed political parties that 2015 is a year that the commission will change its approach in regulating and supervising political parties’ activities.
A political party, he said, is not established to only contest elections but to participate in shaping the political will of the people, disseminate information on political ideas, and social and economic programmes of a national character.
The PPRC boss said this year, the commission will ensure that political parties adhere to the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, the Political Parties Act of 2002 and their party constitutions, noting that there is no more going to be a time where political parties go to congress, elect their officers and after few months they decide to change them without reference to their constitution.
Justice Thompson admonished the party leaders to also inculcate the habit of consulting their members on the day-to-day activities of their parties as lack of consultation, he said, leads to suspicions among party members.
“Political parties should now concentrate on their party ideologies rather than individuals,” he urged, adding that politicians must be principled and ensure that they maintain fairness and justice among members.
Speaking on the existence of political party offices in the country, Justice Thompson expressed dismay over the habit of political parties changing offices often. “This year, the commission will be conducting unannounced office verification of all political party offices nationwide,” he informed them and advised party officers present to put their houses in order or face the law.
Speaking on political parties’ compliance in accounting to the commission on its finances, Justice Thompson also expressed dismay over the delay or non-compliance by most of the political parties; a behaviour he said will not be tolerated in the new year.
Meanwhile, the PPRC – in collaboration with the 10 registered political parties – will embark on a weeklong sensitization exercise on the importance of the Western Area Operation Surge.
The exercise will help community people take ownership of the program and not to be complacent as a result of the drop in the infection cases. This will also help in convincing the people in the Western Area to work together for the eradication of the virus in their respective communities by adhering to the rules and respect community by-laws.
The exercise will also be used to educate the people that Sierra Leone will only be declared EVD free after 42 days without any new infection.