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All Political Parties Positions on the proclaimed PR system


The All Political Parties Association Sierra Leone (APPA-SL), the legitimate umbrella body of registered political parties in Sierra Leone and recognized by the Political Parties
Registration Commission (PPRC) in Sierra Leone has read with rapt attention the press
release dated 21st October 2022 from the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL), that informed the public that accordance with section 38 (a) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Brig (Retired) Julius Maada Bio, has directed the ECSL to conduct the 2023 Public Elections using the Proportional Representation (PR) District Block System.

APPA-SL has also carefully read the provision in section 38(a) of the 1991 Constitution of
Sierra Leone and wishes to state that, His Excellency the President Brig (Retired) Julius
Maada Bio DID NOT act outside the provisions of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
Furthermore, the public would recall that the former President of Sierra Leone HE Ernest Bai Koroma in 2013 established the 80-man Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) chaired by the late Justice Edmond Cowan. The Committee in its report stated that it received thousands of suggestions from the public through submission forms and dozens of position papers from institutions and individuals within and outside the country.

The Committee after several consultations and validation of the report submitted its final report to the President Ermest Bai Koroma in 2016 and it is on record that the people of Sierra Leone unequivocally recommended that Sierra Leone should revert to the Proportional Representation (PR) System that was practiced in the 1996 and 2002 elections.
Considering the above, APPA-SL would like to commend President Bio for heeding to this
long-awaited call from the people of Sierra Leone, as sovereignty belongs to the people.
APPA-SL believes that the PR is the political system that will help consolidate our national
peace, tolerance and cohesion and eliminate the political barriers presently surrounding our body politic.
However, APPA-SL stands with the ECSL and commends the Chief Electoral Commissioner
Mr. Mohamed Kenewi Konneh for his exemplary leadership and for taking the appropriate steps under the law of the land. 

Mr. Konneh since his appointment has demonstrated integrity and professionalism in the discharge of his duties, for this APPA-SL unreservedly believes in the leadership of Mr. Konneh as the ECSL has conducted itself admirably and above reproach. The ECSL has conducted elections that have led to the successful transition of
power from one administration to another in a free, fair and transparent manner.

APPA-SL unapologetically prefer the use of the PR system to the First Past the Post (FPTP) in the forthcoming Public Elections because we believe it will promote political tolerance, peace, political fairness and inclusion of the views of the minority and their participation in governance processes. Below are other reasons APPA-SL is fully persuaded that PR is what we need in present-day Sierra Leone:

The PR System strengthens inclusivity and calls for increased political participation in
our body politic, as is more representative and would accelerate gender empowerment;
It guarantees women across the country their 30% quota representation in parliament
and local councils;
It is cost-effective as the resources spent in the conduct of bye-elections can now be
redirected to other developmental programs such as Health, Education, Agriculture
and infrastructures etc;
It will put an end to security threats and tensions that characterized bye-elections and the associated challenges will become redundant, thereby eliminating the idea of bye elections in case of death, resignation or incapacity of a sitting parliamentarian, mayor, district chairperson or councillor;
Reduces the campaign burden on individual candidates and it is more unifying;

Eliminates tribal and regional bigotry and the tension or violence associated with it;

Promotes national cohesion and helps in the consolidation of our hard-won peace;

Guarantees efficient, effective and quality representation in parliament;
Allows for greater political inclusivity and fairness by promoting political pluralism at
all levels.
Every vote is essential under the PR system. No vote is wasted.
Given the above, APPA-SL has been working tirelessly to help in harmonizing divergent
views on issues of national importance and subsequently engage the government accordingly.
In a bid to actualise the desired goals of the PR System, APPA-SL calls for a timely
intervention on the following concerns:
1. APPA-SL calls on the ECSL and all Political Parties to embark on more sensitization
across the country to ensure a wider and more comprehensive understanding of the
PR System
2. ECSL to call a meeting of all political parties to collectively review the regulations as to what should be the threshold or percentage that will determine a seat in parliament or local councils. The primary focus of a PR system is to allow for greater political participation and fairness by creating a platform for the smaller political parties to be represented in both parliament and local councils. If that is the case, APPA-SL is of
the view that the calculation of the threshold for the allocation of seats to political parties should take into consideration international best practices;

3. APPA-SL should be empowered to help disseminate vital information on the PR
System to avoid voter apathy.

APPA-SL calls on all registered political parties to be patriotic, maintain peace and
discourage any form of rebellion or unrest in the country. Let us all put aside our interests and put Salone fos. Sierra Leone is above our political sentiments or interests, therefore as
political parties, we must all embrace a united front towards national development and peace To the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Sierra Leone, we expect you all to be apolitical and responsible in your delivery of the PR System as your words or actions can make or break Sierra Leone.

Finally, APPA-SL hereby solicits the continued cooperation of all registered political parties
to put the interest of the country first, as they seek to contribute to the future of democraticgood governance in Sierra Leone.


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