By Princess-Ekwi Ajide
The Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the ECOWAS Commission, has held a workshop on peace, for the forthcoming general elections in Sierra Leone.
The Commission held the workshop l in partnership with the Sierra Leone’s Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion.
The training and interactive workshop was attended by political actors and stakeholders on peaceful elections, all geared towards the Presidential and Parliamentary elections scheduled for 24th June 2023.
The Joint ECOWAS-African Union pre-election fact-finding Mission, had been deployed to the country from the 12th to 14th of April 2023, to assess the level of preparedness for the elections by the Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) which this workshop and other political actors and institutions workshop are part of the Commission’s strategic and operational support to Member States holding elections.
Conscious that election periods are moments of heightened political tension, the workshop whose participants were drawn from political parties, the Election Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL), the Political Parties Regulatory Commission (PPRC), the Office of National Security (ONS) and the Sierra Leone Police, the Inter-Religious Council and Traditional authorities, the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC), civil society organisation and the media is aimed at contributing to the enhancement of participants’ dialogue and mediation skills, create space for interactive engagements and opportunity to sensitize the population on the ECOWAS normative principles and frameworks on democracy and good governance.
It is also examined inclusive participatory processes, which would enable free, fair, transparent and credible elections in the country.
It will be recalled that similar workshops were organized in the lead-up to the 2023 general elections in Nigeria as well as around the electoral processes of several other Member States.
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