By Yusufu S. Bangura
To deepen dialogue and engagement with political stakeholders and further consolidate their critical role as fair and trusted political parties’ regulatory agency, Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC), has launched their Strategic Communications Plan.
The formal launching ceremony which was supported by the European Union and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) took place on Tuesday 9th May 2023 at the commission’s conference centre, Lamina Sankoh Street in Freetown.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Chairman of PPRC, Abdulai Masiyambay Bangura said the communication strategic plan they developed was designed to support the commission to effectively communicate their renewed mandate and functions, as enshrined in the Political Party Act of 2022.
He said the strategy was also developed to inform the public of its activities and foster trust and confidence among political actors and citizens at large.
He added that the content of the strategic plan they launched is representative of the views of political parties.
PPRC Chairman continues that with support from their partners they were able to go round the country consulting political parties’ representatives at regular level and they concluded the process in Freetown, so they have sufficient inputs from their constituents and political parties hence it’s a document that was done by everyone.
“I hope every one of us will own this document and support it implementation,” he said.
He said the document will help them to counter misinformation and malformation that is rippled on the social media which are being peddled by politicians.
He said they have a responsibility to ensure that they counter those misinformation for everyone to have a very peaceful society.
He further said the document will also increase their visibility to the public which he thought are key issues because the public needs to know what they are doing.
The Chairman said they now have a new Act which entails a lot of power and that they needed a communication strategy that will help them to implement that Act alongside political parties, adding that they also have a responsibility as a commission to ensure that they defuse the tension created by politicians because democracy will only thrive in a peaceful atmosphere.
“The work of the PRRC among other things includes communicating our policies and process to political parties and other stakeholders. The new PPRC communication strategy positions us to effectively communicate and engage with stakeholders, especially considering the provisions of the 2022 PPRC Act. We should always put Sierra Leone above all else,” he said.
Head of Sierra Leone Country Programme at International IDEA, Dr. ldrissa Mamoud Tarawallie, noted that Sierra Leone’s Democracy Strengthening Programme will be here to support the PPRC and other electoral and democratic governance institutions including the media long after the elections, as part of its overall objective of supporting democratic consolidation in Sierra Leone.
Head of Governance and CSOs at EU, Serena Bertaina stated that they remain committed to supporting Sierra Leone’s democratic consolidation initiatives, and they hope that the development and launch of the new PPRC Communication Plan will further strengthen the commission’s capacity to engage meaningfully with political parties and electoral stakeholders and effectively implement its mandate.
During the event, representatives from other media institutions made their commitments to continue working with PPRC to ensure that they meet their goals and to further ensure that there is peaceful election coming June 24.