Sharing Outcomes of Regional Engagements… CARL-SL Advocates for Stakeholders Unity in Tripartite Committee Implementation

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By Foday Moriba Conteh

Following the conclusion of nation-wide regional stakeholder engagement in Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Port Loko with the aim to discuss the Tripartite Committee’s mandate and its achievements thus far, by the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law-Sierra Leone (CARL-SL), funded by the Open Society Foundation (OSF), the Non-Governmental Organization on, Thursday 4th July, 2024, held a Press Briefing to give updates on the outcomes of these regional engagements further urging stakeholders to work collectively in implementing the Tripartite Committee’s recommendations in order to strengthen the integrity of Sierra Leone’s future Elections. The Press Briefing was held at CARL-SL’s Office on Circular Road in Freetown.

Reading a Press Statement, Jeremy Ben Simbo, Head of Programs at CARL-SL said that following the disputed June 24, 2023 elections, where the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) refused to accept the Presidential election results, the APC made several demands before resuming Governance participation. According to him, such led to a three-day dialogue facilitated by Sierra Leone’s Peace and National Cohesion Commission with support from ECOWAS, the African Union and the Commonwealth. The dialogue concluded with the signing of an eight-resolution communiqué on October 18, 2023, aimed to foster peace and national cohesion.

He added that a key resolution was the establishment of a Tripartite Committee, composed of the Government, APC and international development partners, to address electoral issues. Jeremy Ben Simbo intimated that the Committee, with its six-month mandate, completed its work and presented its report to the President on July 1, 2024.

Ahead of the submission of the report, he said the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), with funding from the Open Society Foundation, led a nation-wide regional stakeholder engagement in Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Port Loko primarily aimed at understanding the fears, hopes and expectations about the work of the Committee. It was also aimed at ascertaining people’s level of awareness and/or knowledge about the Committee’s work and their perspectives about the mandate and composition of the Committee.

He pointed out that the targets for engagement included civil society leaders, traditional authorities, religious leaders, educational institutions, market women, bike riders, students, Office of National Security, the Sierra Leone Police, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), representatives of the ruling SLPP and the main opposition APC, persons living with disability, among others.

Commenting on the findings from their regional engagements, he revealed general support for the Tripartite Committee’s efforts to restore electoral confidence, though there were significant gaps in public understanding and representation within the Committee, as many participants were unaware of the Committee’s mandate and terms of reference, leading to widespread misinformation.

Jeremy Ben Simbo said concerns were raised about the Committee’s limited representation and communication, with calls for broader inclusion and more comprehensive consultations.

He pointed out that participants expressed hope that the Committee’s recommendations would be implemented cooperatively and inclusively, emphasizing the need for a transparent and accountable process, involving both state and non-state actors, including civic groups.

There were calls for the Government to demonstrate the political will and provide necessary resources and for political party leaders to disseminate the report’s recommendations effectively ,he informed saying additionally, participants stressed the importance of a comprehensive constitutional review process to address electoral system vulnerabilities.

He revealed that the 80 recommendations made by the Tripartite Committee aim to create an enabling environment for free, fair, transparent and accountable elections.

Jeremy Ben Simbo concluded by pointing out that CARL-SL is urging all stakeholders, including the Government, APC, development partners, and citizens, to work cooperatively in the implementation of the recommendations so as to strengthen the integrity of Sierra Leone’s elections.



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