Tripartite Committee signs TOR for post-election peace dialogue

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  Members of the Tripartite Committee in photo opps after the signing of ToR

By Alhaji Haruna Sani

In a significant development, representatives from Sierra Leone’s main political players, the All People’s Congress (APC) party, the Government of Sierra Leone and development partners officially signed agreed Terms of Reference (ToR) on February 6th at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown.

The signing of the Terms of Reference marked a crucial step in defining the committee’s work over the next five months.

The Tripartite Committee emerged from a post-election peace dialogue organised by the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC), established after the signing of a final communique between government, opposition,and international partners.

The dialogue was initiated in response to the contested June 24, 2023 elections, with the APC alleging bias in favour of the SLPP by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL).

During the signing ceremony at the New Brookfields Hotel, Freetown, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Seraphine Wakana commended the committee for their constructive engagement, despite opposing views. She emphasised the importance of their commitment to fostering unity and national cohesion in the aftermath of a divisive post-electoral period.

Wakana urged widespread support for the process, emphasising the need for full implementation of the Terms of Reference to diffuse tension for national unity.

Dr. Kaifala Marah, head of the committee representing the APC, highlighted the controversial outcome of the June 24, 2023 elections, citing irregularities such as lack of transparency in the tally system and the ECSL’s deliberate refusal to publish disaggregated election results.

He outlined the committee’s dual mandate: reviewing the dissatisfactory 2023 elections and examining previous electoral processes, focusing on contentious issues to ensure future elections are free and fair.

Dr. Marah reassured the public of the committee’s transparency and announced the inclusion of experts for electoral management reforms, law reforms, and institutional reforms.

He urged the government to implement resolutions, including the release of individuals detained for alleged election-related activities and discontinuation of politically motivated court cases, among others.

Dr. Emmanuel Gaima, representing the government, highlighted the government’s efforts in electoral reforms and assured ongoing commitment to capturing more reforms for future elections.

He emphasized the continuous nature of electoral reforms and clarified the committee’s role as a review body rather than an investigative body.

While the meeting concluded on a seemingly contentious note regarding the possibility of a re-run of the June 24, 2023 elections, both sides expressed their commitment to the national interest, promising to address various resolutions for the sake of unity.

As the Tripartite Committee embarks on its mandate, the public is encouraged to support the process, ensuring the full implementation of the Terms of Reference for the betterment of Sierra Leone’s democratic future

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