The National Commission for Democracy (NCD) has signed a Memorandum of Understand with the Network Movement for Democracy and Human Right (NMDHR) with a focus to creating a synergy to foster a cooperative and collaborative engagement in order to solidify and improve the country’s nascent democracy.
This historic event of a state and non-state actors signing the MOU was hosted at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Information and Communications on September 2nd, 2015 and is geared towards dealing with the numerous challenges facing the country’s democracy in a bid to improve the tenets and values of democracy in the country.
In his statement, NCD’s Commissioner for the Northern Region, Bai John Conteh, who delivered a statement on behalf of the Chairman of the Commission, reiterated the significance of the MOU noting that the country’s democracy will work better when the approach of gaining effective synergy in working with civil society in the state and non-state partnership is adopted.
The Commissioner applauded the partnership between the two institutions saying that there is the need for the Commission to forge new ties of partnership with other institutions and the Network Movement for Democracy and human Right in particular to derive maximum benefit from the skills and knowledge they can make available to the country’s political landscape.
He further noted that the Commission thought it worthwhile to forge a stronger tie with the non-state actor to inject new blood into the body politic in order to ensure its survival and sustainable development as they are both pursuing similar objective from the standpoint of national development
He said the signing of the document will mark a turning point and demystify the negative perception that Civil Society Organizations and statutory Institutions cannot work together in the interest of national development without some form of compromise.
Commissioner Conteh further expressed that the signing of the MOU with NMDHR is in line with the Commission’s capacity building focus of its mandate as it provides technical support and lend credence to their operation in the promotion of democracy and good governance in the country.
Bai J Conteh encouraged the two institutions to further strength their collaborative engagement “we at NCD carry the baited expectation that the collaborative engagement forged here today will be cemented further with concrete activities that will transform the democratic future of our beloved nation, characterized by peaceful co-existence, mutual tolerance in every sphere, socio-economic progress with the rule of law as the ultimate arbiter in the dispensation of justice in our courts and beyond,” he posited.
The Coordinator for the Network Movement for Democracy and Human Right Dr. Mathew James applauded the event of signing the MOU with the Commission marking the beginning of a worthy relationship that will see a collaborative engagement between the two institutions in the interest of promoting democracy in Sierra Leone.
Giving a background to his institution, Dr. James noted that the NMDHR was established in 2002 with a clear focus for promoting participatory democracy and Human Right and capacity building for political parties regardless of their size.
He noted that this is the first time a state and non-state actors are forging ties to build the democracy of the country saying that Government should pay more attention to the Commission given the huge task it has in providing civic education for the people.
He said that the two institutions will have to focus on providing electoral education and capacity building for political parties. Dr. James said that the work of the Commission is crucial and must be treated with all seriousness and be provided with the necessary support so that they will be in position to provide the much needed education for the people to be fully engaged and further ensure that they have a free and fair election in 2018.
The Chairman of the occasion Kallie Sillah who is also the Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Commission noted that the signing of the MOU is a significant event that marks the beginning of a relationship between the two institutions to collaborate in enhancing the values of the democracy in the country.
He said there should be a mutual imperative relationship to ensure the realization of a peaceful election and transition and the creation of effective principles and policies for a better democracy.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.