Through the multi-donor Election Support Basket Fund financed by the European Union, the Governments of Ireland, Canada, Iceland, as well as the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, managed by the UNDP, the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) on the 2nd April, 2023 received at its new premises on Lamina Sankoh Street, ICT and office equipment to enhance the Commission’s operational capacities ahead of the June 2023 multi-tier elections.
The material consists of 16 laptop computers for the PPRC headquarters and regional offices, an all-terrain vehicle to support field missions, internet connectivity equipment (two servers, eight routers), 75 conference chairs and tables for the PPRC conference hall, a generator, two air conditioning units, and eight sets of tables and chairs for the new PPRC office.
The handover ceremony took place at the newly renovated PPRC conference hall in the presence of UNDP Resident Representative, Pa Lamin Beyai; the PPRC Executive Director Olushogo David; the Ambassador of the European Union to Sierra Leone H.E. Manuel Müller; the Ambassador of Ireland in Sierra Leone H.E. Claire Buckley, as well as institutional partners.
According to the UNDP Resident Representative, Pa Lamin Beyai : “UNDP is committed to supporting the PPRC so that it can discharge its mission under optimal and efficient conditions. We are confident that this contribution will help the PPRC effectively fulfill its role and successfully meet the operational and logistical challenges of these elections.”
On his part, the Executive Director of PPRC Olushogo David stated: “The quality of the material that was provided by UNDP with support from the European Union is a testament to their belief in ensuring that the capacities of the PPRC are excellent.”
The Ambassador of the European Union in Sierra Leone H.E. Manuel Müller pointed that: “The European Union remains committed to supporting Sierra Leone’s efforts to undertake transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections and achieve sustainable development.”
H.E. Claire Buckley, Ambassador of Ireland in Sierra Leone said: “As we approach the 24 June election date and with the enhanced facilities made available and equipment officially handed over today, Ireland expects that the PPRC will increase its engagement with political parties to ensure their behaviour is conducive to deescalating tensions and resolving disputes, and most importantly to support peaceful elections.”
The handover was made possible by the UNDP’s Election Project (“Fostering Peaceful, Credible, and Inclusive Elections in Sierra Leone 2022-2023”) which aims to strengthen the planning and management capacities of the country’s electoral management bodies; support the promotion of a peaceful environment for the participation of voters especially women, youth, and persons with disabilities in the electoral process; and to raise public awareness through a nationwide voter outreach and education drive.
The Election Assistance project is administered thanks to a multi-donor Election Support Basket Fund financed by the Government of Ireland, the European Union, the Government of Canada, the Government of Iceland, as well as the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.
The PPRC is set to play a critical role during the multi-tier elections scheduled on 24 June.