International IDEA Facilitates PPRC’s Political Finance Study Tour in South Africa  

In a bid to bolster political and campaign finance regulation in Sierra Leone, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) organized a 4-day (19th – 22nd February 2024) peer learning visit to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in South Africa. This initiative, facilitated under the Sierra Leone Democracy Strengthening Programme funded by the European Union (EU), aimed to foster shared learning and explore best practices in political and campaign financing for the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) of Sierra Leone.

The study tour was prompted by the provisions of the Political Parties Act (PPA) No. 25 of 2022, focusing on candidate and political party finance regulatory functions of the PPRC. Additionally, it responded to recommendations from national and international election observation groups, particularly echoing the EU Elections Observation Mission of 2023’s recommendation 10.

The visit centered on mutual exchange of ideas, systems, and processes in candidate and political party campaign financing regulation for the PPRC. The IEC of South Africa, renowned for its effective political finance regulatory framework, provided valuable insights. With a dedicated political finance directorate boasting extensive experience in party funding and regulating money in politics, the IEC served as a prime example for the PPRC.

Political and campaign finance plays a pivotal role in democratic governance, ensuring fairness, accountability, and integrity in electoral processes. Recognizing this, International IDEA has supported the development of a draft political campaign finance regulation for the PPRC, awaiting validation from political parties before presentation to parliament.

During the South Africa visit, participants engaged with leading experts, practitioners, and regulators at the IEC to delve deeper into the political finance landscape. Discussions encompassed legal frameworks, enforcement strategies, financial reporting procedures, sanctions and enforcements, records management, monitoring, and communication. Interaction with South African civil society organizations further enriched the learning experience.

Dr. Idrissa Mamoud Tarawallie, Head of International IDEA, Sierra Leone Country Programme, emphasized the significance of understanding the sources and usage of political funds for electoral fairness and integrity. He expressed International IDEA’s commitment to leveraging partnerships like the one with the IEC of South Africa to strengthen the capacity of the PPRC in regulating money in politics.

Hon. Justice Abdulai M. Bangurah, outgoing Chairman of the PPRC, lauded the collaboration with International IDEA, marking it as a pivotal part of his legacy. He highlighted the PPRC’s enhanced capacity and regulatory framework for political campaign financing, coupled with the invaluable opportunity to learn from South African peers.

This collaborative effort underscores International IDEA’s dedication to democratic governance and electoral integrity. By facilitating peer-to-peer learning and capacity-building initiatives, International IDEA aims to empower institutions like the PPRC to effectively regulate political finance, thereby fostering transparency and accountability in Sierra Leone’s electoral processes.


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