APC, Peace Commission, PPRC & ECSL Dialogue Continues Today

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

It was agreed at the Bintumani Conference Centre during a Dialogue Meeting that commenced on the 19th June and continued on the 20th June, 2023, jointly organized by the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) and the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC) otherwise known as the Peace Commission, that the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone and other stakeholders will address certain concerns raised by the opposition All People’s Congress Party after the development of a stalemate that seems to impinge the successful outcome of the upcoming General Elections.

As a result of a firm position taken by the main opposition APC Party of staging a peaceful protest following the expiration of a 72 hours ultimatum, in which it was categorically stated that the Chief Electoral Commissioner and other Commissioners  of the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) must resign from their positions amidst other demands to be met, followed by the ruling SLPP stance that any attempt to disrupt the upcoming elections will be strongly rejected, leading to a stalemate, the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC)  invited the leadership of the All Peoples Congress (APC) Party to a dialogue meeting on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th, June 2023, at the Bintumani International Conference Centre in Aberdeen, Freetown which is said to continue  on Wednesday 21st June, 2023.

Co-hosting the dialogue meeting was the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC) and in attendance were the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone, the Security Sector Actors- National Security Coordinator, Inspector General of Police, Development Partners, Election Observer Missions and line Civil Society Organizations. The aim of fostering the meeting was to foster peace and national cohesion in Sierra Leone, especially in the context of upcoming elections.

The APC was represented at the meeting by prominent figures such as presidential running mate Hon Chernor Maju Bah, Secretary General Lansana Dumbuya Esq, and Mayoral candidate Yvonne Aki Sawyer. The meeting was also attended by the Chair of ECSL, Civil Society representatives and members of the diplomatic community.

After three hours of deliberations at the Bintumani Conference Centre  , the APC Delegation decided to hold a consultative meeting among themselves and to later revert to the main dialogue meeting but unfortunately no concrete resolution was arrived at which led to the postponement of the meeting to the 20th June, 2023.

On the 20th June, 2023 during the continuation of the Dialogue Meeting held at the Bintumani Conference Centre, it was agreed that the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) has announced that it will be looking into several critical issues raised by the All People’s Congress Party ahead of the upcoming election. The Commission stated that it will be responding to those issues by 11:00am Wednesday, 21st June, 2023.

The first issue on the agenda is the voters register will be closely scrutinized to ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date. Additionally, the Electoral Commission stated that it will not use any software app parallel systems for vote counting, but will rely on manual counting only. This decision was made to ensure the transparency and credibility of the electoral process and to prevent any potential hacking or tampering with the results.

In light of recent concerns regarding security, the security sector will be addressing these issues and will release a Press Statement to reassure citizens of their safety across the country. Finally, the security has confirmed that Arthur Pearce a member of the All People’s Congress who was in detention at the CID has been released, although this was done before the conclusion of the meeting.

The meeting is set to continue today Wednesday 21st June, 2023 and is expected to cover a range of other topics related to the upcoming election. The ECSL has emphasized its commitment to ensuring a fair and transparent democratic process and has encouraged citizens to remain engaged and informed throughout the election period.

Election Commission stated that the Commission is committed to ensuring free and fair elections and will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to achieve this goal. It also stated that it will provide further updates on the preparations for the elections, including the implementation of the manual counting and the security measures.

However, following what transpired on the 20th June, 2023 there is a thin glimmer of hope that it is not definitely certain what will really be the outcome of the PPRC/ Peace Commission Dialogue vis-à-vis the June, 24, Elections.


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