08/01/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/01/2023 11:02
State House, Freetown, Tuesday 1 August 2023 - Chairman of the Political Parties' Regulations Commission, PPRC, Abdulai M. Bangura Esq. and staff, have officially presented their annual report for 2021-2022 to His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio.
Mr. Bangura used the opportunity, on behalf of his commission and commissioners, to congratulate the President on his resounding victory in the June 2023 elections, describing the conduct and processes as largely free, fair and violence-free.
He said in accordance with Section 20 of the Act of 2022, their report covered a wide range of topics, including the legal reforms at the Commission, adding that with support from the government, they were able to repeal and replace the PPRC Act of 2002 as part of a wider recommendation made by the 2018 elections observer missions in Sierra Leone.
The Chairman described 2021-2022 as a relatively peaceful political year with minimal intra and inter-party disputes, despite the prevalence of hate speeches, political intolerance, intimidation, and tribal profiling by certain political actors.
Lawyer Bangura said key among the amendments to the old Act was the name change from Political Parties' Registration Commission to Political Parties' Regulation Commission.
"The intent was to capture all of what we do, including registration, overseeing activities, monitoring lower-level elections and supervising the repeal and replacement of intra-party constitutions.
"As Commission, we followed the 2023 elections campaign trail nationwide, and from our findings and observations, it was the most peaceful in the country's political history," he said.
He commended all political parties for their peaceful conduct in the June elections while extending their gratitude to President Bio for his intense support for the Commission and the demonstration of his commitment to enhancing state institutions.
President Julius Maada Bio, while accepting the annual report, said it's a pleasure to have the chairman and staff of the PPRC at State House, noting that "I want to congratulate you for the job you are doing, especially for the review of the Act, which has given you more powers."
He said the new Act would enable the Commission to intervene in intra and inter-party disputes, pointing out that political parties would not be in court all the time because the new Act has reposed more trust and confidence in the Commission.
"I also want to confirm that we are aware of the fact that the Commission performs a very important role in the politics of our country, with lots of bearing on peace, the consolidation of our democratic gains, and also assisting in maintaining the culture of democracy.
"That is why I personally consider your task to be huge and difficult, taking into consideration how toxic we can be as a nation during the general elections," the President revealed and called on the Chairman and other commissioners in the commission to maintain the high standard they had set themselves.
He closed by encouraging them to continue to work even harder, especially now that their impartiality in dealing with political issues was becoming very important.
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