By Abdul Rahman Bah
On Tuesday 7th November 2023, APC MP’s will take their Parliamentary Oath in Parliament.
It could be recalled that during the June 24 General Election 2023, the All People’s Congress Party (APC) Members of Parliament decided not to take part in the activities of Parliament in protest against the alleged Rigging of the elections, which they referred to as undemocratic Election, not credible and unfair. The All People’s Congress called on the international community, ECOWAS, AU, and EU to look into the Election. On that request, the international community called for a mediated dialogue between the Government of Sierra Leone and the All People’s Congress Party to end the impasse.
At the end of the dialogue, the following resolution was reached by the two parties:
- His Excellency the President to make a National Address on dialogue, unity, cohesion and peace.
Secondly the APC will end its non-participation in governance.
Thirdly His Excellency the President, in consultation with the APC party, will constitute a cross-party committee on electoral system and management bodies review, with a three-way leadership nominated by the Government of Sierra Leone, the APC party and development partners. This body will examine the electoral system structures and processes of the 2023 multitier electoral cycle. The committee will also be informed by the provision of the Elections Act, to highlight and address the contentious issues of elections and result management, including the collation, verification, authentication and publishing of electoral data, consistent with international best practices, to enhance the credibility of all future elections in Sierra Leone that guarantees elections to be free, Fair and credible.
The Terms of Reference will be developed Under the joint leadership Of the committee within 30 days
b. The duration of the committee will be 6 months from the date of establishment.
c. The Recommendation from the committee shall be actionable and implementable.
d. The committee will be gender balanced
4.The parties to the dialogue agree to the following;
a. release of any person arrested detained and or imprisoned for alleged elections and civil protest (informed by a list to be submitted by the APC and other political parties and considered by the government of Sierra Leone)
b. The discontinuation of any politically motivated court cases against the APC, other parties and their supporters, based on a list submitted by the APC and other parties and considered by the government of Sierra Leone.
C. Support the resettlement of any political party supporters, internally and externally displaced, due to political intimidation, attacks and harassment informed by a list to be submitted by the APC and other parties and considered by the government of Sierra Leone as soon as possible.
d. Upon assumption of their elective governance position, all elected APC officials (Members of Parliament, Mayors, Chairpersons, Councillors) will have the issue regarding their entitlement addressed accordingly by the appropriate institutions.
E. Parliament to address any issues as it relates to the leadership, composition of committee and representation in international Parliament on behalf of APC (the composition of committee and international must effect APCs Share of seats in accordance with the constitution of Sierra Leone).
5. Both parties agree to the constitutionalisation of an inter-party dialogue framework between The APC, The SLPP and other Political parties. This will be facilitated by the government.
6. Both parties commit to re-engineer and rekindle the relationship within the national Social-political ecosystem, such as between His Excellency the President and former political leaders (former President and Vice Presidents); the APC and SLPP leadership etc.
7. There shall be action and commitments by the parties to implement the agreements reached during this mediated dialogue. To this end, the Government of Sierra Leone and the APC party commit to the establishment of an independent committee of Moral Guarantors, whose membership shall be agreed by the parties to support and monitor the implementation of this agreement.
On that note due to the outcome of the dialogue, APCs MPs have decided to take their seats in Parliament on Tuesday 7 November 2023.