PPRC Chairman: A.M Bangura
The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) has responded to the European Union Election Follow- up Mission on the implementation of the recommendations that would enhance the credibility, inclusiveness and transparency of Sierra Leone’s 2023 elections.
Below is the press statement.
“The attention of the Political Parties Registration Commission (hereinafter called “the Commission”), is drawn to a portion of the Press Release, issued by The European Union Election Follow- up Mission, dated the 29th October 2021, that alludes to it and notes the following: 1. That the Mission did not disclose the source(s) of their information nor did they provide the data or evidence, that informed their conclusions on the Commission. Such disclosure would have not only tended to best practice, but also assisted the public, in their appreciation of the context of those information. 2. That the Commission with support from the Government, EU and other Partners, has made tremendous strides in the implementation of the recommendations of Elections Observer Missions, but that was not acknowledged in the Mission’s Release, even though the assessment of that, was the core mandate of their visit. 3. That the Mission did not accord the Commission, the opportunity to present its own side of the information given them, about its conduct. Although they had a one hour session with the leadership of the Commission, it was however, not privileged with the allegations that searched its public trust, with a view to availing it, the opportunity to respond. The Commission is therefore concerned that, the principle of natural justice, that requires the other Party to be heard, was not adhered to by the Mission”.
“4. That the Note Verbal received by the Commission, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on the purpose of the visit, did not indicate that, the Mission was also here on an institutional audit of POLITICAL PARTIES REGISTRATION COMMISSION OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone Email: [email protected] Website: www.pprcs.gov.sl +232 76640437/ 78201770 2 the Commission, over and above, following up on the implementation of their recommendations. Otherwise, the Commission would have readily obliged them, with evidence of how much it has done, to maintain a balance, in its dealings with Political Parties, under a very challenging Political climate, which apparently the Mission did not have recourse to. 5. The Commission is apprehensive that, the Statements in the Release that relate to it, (even if made bonafide), may be deliberately taken out of context and unduly used to engender public disaffection for the Commission and undermine the public confidence we are assiduously working to achieve, again under very difficult circumstances and again, which circumstances did not seem to interest the Mission. The Mission I suppose is not oblivious of the fact that, detractors abound, that would peddle misconceptions of their Statements, in terms of context and spirit and freeload from those misconceptions, in furtherance of their personal Political interests. We are fearful that, Statements like these, from a key development partner, could be vexatiously used by sore losers, on all sides of the political divide, to dispute the outcome of the 2023 elections, in any event. This is frightening to a nascent and fragile democracy like ours and exposes us, elections management bodies personnel, to undue preconceived hostility. 6. Finally, the Commission wishes to state that, although what the Mission was following- up on are recommendations, we continue to look forward to mutually respectful engagements with the EU and other Partners, on their implementation”.
After spending hours at the ACC…
Samura Kamara Released
The Sierra Leone main opposition aspirant for the 2018 general election Dr. Samura Kamara spent some hours at the Anti-corruption Commission headquarters in Freetown.
This occurred after the ACC invited him at its headquarters to assist the commission on corruption allegations relating to the refurbishment/reconstruction of the chancery building of the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the UN in New York
Leading to this, party supporters and other party hierarchy stormed the building of the ACC head office in Freetown.
Before that, lawyers of the main opposition party, Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara wrote the ACC that “our client’s innocence is without question solid and unimpeachable”
See statement below
“We continue to act as Solicitors for Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara with respect to his engagement with the Anti-Corruption Commission ACC). Our client was requested by the ACC to assist it, as per their Section 56 Notice dated 30th July 2021, with any information he may be acquainted with relating to the refurbishment/reconstruction of the chancery building of the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the UN in New York’’.
“Having attended to this call on three different occasions between 1st July 2021 and 5th October 2021, our client has again received another invite to attend the ACC by way of Section 56 Notice dated 27th October 2021.
After reviewing the contents of the said section 56 Notice, we are on the opinion that the emphasis on the subject matter of the said notice raises new legal issues that were not covered by the previous Section 56 Notice’’.
“In view of the above, we have advised and encouraged our client to honour the ACC invitation which is consistent with his commitment to the fight against corruption, and his unwavering adherence to the values of fairness and justice, more so, in the functioning of State institutions. Our client is of the firm belief that independent State institutions must not be used mala fide.
Insofar as the current investigation and others are concerned, our client’s innocence 1s without question solid and unimpeachable. We therefore call on his supporters and well-wishers to continue to be calm and be assured that our client who has served the State with honour and integrity will be vindicated in the end.
Our client will be accompanied by his team of lawyers when a firm appointment is reached with the ACC”.