By Amin Kef (Ranger)
News that the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) has been renamed Political Parties REGULATION Commission (PPRC) is definitely good news. However, the wonderful news is that the renaming comes with a full new Act which makes the PPRC more powerful in its registering and regulation of the conduct of political parties in Sierra Leone.
At a time when it appears that political parties are no longer decorous, respectful and law-abiding, it becomes necessary for stronger rules to be employed against political parties that have made it a habit to behave extraordinarily sarcastic, chaotic, rude and even impossible.
It is therefore important to note that the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC), the body responsible for regulating political parties in the country is now more powerful than before. This new power is enacted by the Commission’s Act No. 25 of 2022.
The new Act grants the PPRC the power to settle inter-party disputes without invitation. The Chairman of the Commission, Abdulai Masiyambay Bangurah says the PPRC can now proactively intervene into intra party disputes.
He adds that the Commission now has the power to levy fines, warn or suspend any political party that fails to work with the directives of the PPRC and that the PPRC is also powerful enough to deregister non-compliant political parties.
Also worth noting is the fact that, since this new PPRC Act came into force, all the major political parties – Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), All People’s Congress (APC), National Grand Coalition (NGC) and Coalition for Change (C4C) that are represented in the Sierra Leone House of Parliament apparently, more than happily had their respective representatives append their signatures to a communiqué, agreeing with each other not to disturb the peace and not to flout PPRC rules and regulations as enshrined in the new PPRC Act.
The people of Sierra Leone can only hope that these political parties are really serious about what they have agreed to. The people can only rely on the Police and other security forces in the event these political parties for any reason renege on the agreement and unleash violence for whatever reason.
The people of Sierra Leone can only hope that these political parties remain true to the PPRC New Act and to themselves by restraining their supporters from engaging in everything which the PPRC Act has disallowed and for which they will be unhesitant to institute stiff penalties against any violator.
Amongst other things, the new PPRC Act preaches tolerance and non-violence. It regulates, supervises all registered political parties in line with the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone. It also regulates accountability and transparency of political parties, and transmits mediation amongst political parties. The new Act is also geared towards structural change, political inclusion and mediation on the activities of political parties. It is a very good bill.
Against this background, this new PPRC Act for Sierra Leoneans will be helpful to our political system in many ways; the reason why a section of the public and the Press described it as a “wonderful” Act which everyone hopes will be followed through to the letter because: “it is important for the development of the State and is not controversial” according to a Member of Parliament present at the passing of the new Bill into an Act.
Sierra Leoneans are praying that common sense will prevail as we draw closer towards an election that portends to be hot.