Ahead of the forthcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections of Sierra Leone, scheduled for 24th June 2023, the Directorate of Political Affairs (DPA) in the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the ECOWAS Commission, in partnership with the country's Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion, is holding a training and interactive workshop with political actors and stakeholders on peaceful elections.
The workshop which is part of the Commission's strategic and operational support to Member States holding elections, is a follow up to the Joint ECOWAS-African Union pre-election fact-finding Mission 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) and other political actors and institutions.
Conscious that election periods are moments of heightened political tension, the workshop is aiming to contribute 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 examining inclusive participatory processes, which would enable the holding of free, fair, transparent, and credible elections.
The Workshop Participants are 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 organization and the media.
It will be recalled that similar workshops were organized in the lead-up to the recently held 2023 general elections in Nigeria as well as around the electoral processes of several other Member States.