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Sierra Leone News: “Election is not a do or die battle” PPRC Chairman

The Chairman of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) Justice Patrick Hamilton, has during a meeting on Monday 29th January 2017, with Election Management Bodies (EMB) and political parties at the NEC Headquarters at Tower Hill in Freetown said that election is not a “do or die battle.”
The meeting was geared towards reminding political parties about the existing rules and regulations in the country with regards to elections violation and malpractice.
While addressing political parties, the PPRC Chair said that elections are just round the corner and political parties must maintain peace and order before, during and after the elections. He mentioned that even though they are calling for free, fair and peaceful elections, that there are existing laws in place to tackle elections offenders. “There are rules and regulations which are governing election activities and those rules and regulations must be respected”
Justice Hamilton said that at the end of the elections, there will eventually be one winner and called on Sierra Leoneans to accept the result at the end and put the interest of the country first, so as to maintain peace in Sierra Leone.
In his presentation Commissioner Babatunde Pratt of PPRC said the Code of Conduct for political parties guide the action of all political parties in Sierra Leone, before, during and after elections with regards to what is acceptable and what is forbidden from political parties.
He highlighted that one issue that normally leads to fracas among political parties is the one that has to do with colours. He appealed to political parties to stick to their colours when they have political activity.
Commissioner Pratt underscored that “if your political party is organizing a rally, that should not mean you should disturb the peace of the next man”. He called on the State broadcaster and the police to give the same treatment to all political parties and candidates regardless of their status in society
While summarizing the Public Election Act of 2012, The Chief of Legal Affairs of NEC Fatorma Fah-Bundeh explained that the number of Constituencies has increased. from 112 to 132 because the population has increased
He noted that after the nomination document of presidential candidates would have been gazetted, within seven days, eligible voters will have the opportunity to petition any of the candidates if they so wish.
He pointed out that there is no law in Sierra Leone, that says both presidential and parliamentarian elections should be held at the same time. He underscored that as a result of the resources involved that is why they are doing both elections on the same day.
According to the Director of Crime Service, Assistant Inspector General of Police Monrie Lengor the 1965 Public Order Act is still intact and they will use it when necessary. He called on political parties to remain law abiding and promised to create a fair opportunity for all political parties.
By Mohamed J Bah
Tuesday January 30, 2018.

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