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You Cannot Put A Ban On Political Rallies! SDI tells PPRC

SDI CALLS ON PPRC TO REVIEW BAN ON POLITICAL RALLIES

Society for Democratic Initiatives (SDI) wants to make it known to the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) that it views with the utmost concern their press release dated 30th July 2019, suspending all Political Party rallies for the upcoming by-election in constituency 110 in the Western Rural.

According to the release, the decision was informed by events that were alleged to have taken place in Hamilton, during an APC rally on Monday 29th July, 2019. It was alleged that the rally had turned violent, resulting into personal attacks and the destruction of private properties belonging to the SLPP aspirant in the proposed election.

Though SDI totally condemns political violence in any form and at any level, SDI is of the view that the Commission could have explored other means of imposing punishment on political parties involved in the said violence because we believe that it is the constitutional and democratic rights of the electorates to conduct political rallies as part of an organized effort, which seeks to influence the decision making processes of the electorates.

SDI is also of the view that this decision has robbed other political parties, such as the National Grand Coalition (NGC), and Unity Party (UP) who are also contesting, of the opportunity to rally and garner support for their candidates.

Therefore, we believe that the decision to put a blanket ban is wrong and every effort should be made by the PPRC to review their action and do things the right way, without unduly hurting innocent Sierra Leoneans.

In view of the circumstances thereof, SDI would like to recommend the following to the Political Parties Registration Commission;

  • PPRC to lift the ban in the bid to providing a level playing field for other political parties that were not part of the alleged 29th July violence
  • An investigation to be instituted by PPRC and the Sierra Leone Police as provided by the act to  bring perpetrators to book
  • A preliminary investigation be conducted by the Sierra Leone Police and ensure the matter is referred to the appropriate authorities
  • Ensure speedy trials in the election offences court for all alleged perpetrators of the 29th July violence
  • PPRC to engage with the leadership of Political parties on the alternative actions
  • That the leadership of the two main political parties (APC and SLPP) to be able to control their supporters and ensure political tolerance

SDI being a Democratic Governance institution that exists to ensure democratic rights are protected, believes that democratic institutions should work within the ambits of the law and provide the enabling environment for citizens to exercise their democratic rights and responsibilities.

For further information, please contact: +23278155450 /+23278317053

End of release

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