From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Political Parties, Police Plot Against Violence
By Aruna Turay
Dec 3, 2010, 17:12

The Sierra Leone Police (SLP), the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), the National Electoral Commission (NEC), and the four major political parties in the country SLPP, APC, NDA and PMDC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections in the forthcoming bye-elections in Kono, Kambia and Tonkolili.

The agreement containing basic rules for effective policing of the aforesaid local government bye-election slated for 11th December 2010 was signed at the conference hall of the Sierra Leone Police Headquarters in Freetown on Thursday 2nd December 2010.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Francis Allieu Munu said the MOU will serve as a guide towards a peaceful conduct of the elections, whilst entreating the relevant stakeholders to abide by the rules.

As contained in the fourteen point MOU, no member of the public would be allowed to wear party colours or canvas on polling day; no assembly or masquerade would be allowed within 100 metre radius of a polling centre; no government vehicle, except those of NEC, PPRC, Police, shall be allowed to ply routes in Kono District Council area on polling day except on legitimate business; no public functionary who is not a registered voter in the election area (with the exception of MPs, Councilors or party executives of Kono) would be allowed to move within the Kono District Council area if he/she has no business there; each political party official in need of state security should request from the nearest Local Unit Commander or Regional Commander and no unofficial security or private army would be allowed; all party officials should be accorded the same privileges and it is therefore forbidden for the AIG or LUC or any other officer to show preference for anyone group of politicians; no police officer or unauthorized political party representative shall be allowed inside a polling center or station and police officers would be responsible for crowd control, general security of the polling centre and assist NEC with queue control; NEC must ensure timely delivery of all voting materials and deployment of staff; NEC personnel and any other person to be allowed within the polling station should refrain from any attempt to influence voting or electoral malpractice; chiefs and other local authorities should refrain from influencing or intimidating voters or sit around polling centres after voting; vehicle checkpoints shall be manned at entry point to regulate entry and ensure security, and; no unlicensed and unregistered vehicle/motorcycle except those certified by the district road safety committee shall be allowed during the election period.   

The MOU was signed by the National Secretary Generals of the various political parties and representatives of NEC, PPRC, SLP and UNIPSIL.

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