By Chernor Ojuku Sesay
The Political Parties Registration Commission, which was set up by an Act of Parliament in 2002 and its members sworn into office on 19th December 2005, has fully started operations.
Temporarily, the Commission is located at the office of the Administrator and Registrar-General at Roxy Building, 1 Walpole Street in Freetown.
Registered political parties and other Sierra Leoneans wishing to register new parties can always contact the Commission between 9:00am – 5:00pm daily.
The “Political Parties Act, 2002″, mandated the Commission to “register and regulate the conduct of political parties in accordance with sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution and to provide for related matters.
The Commission consists of four members appointed by the President of Sierra Leone. They are the Chairman Justice Abdulai Timbo; the Chief Electoral Commissioner Ms. Christiana Thorpe; Mr. Muctarr .B. Williams who was nominated by the Sierra Leone Labour Congress; Lawyer R. A. Caesar from the Sierra Leone Bar Association and the Secretary Mr. Aiah .D. Konoyima.
The creation of the Commission will facilitate preparations for the Presidential and Parliamentary elections and will help ensure a level playing field for candidates and political parties. In addition to registering new parties, the Commission has the authority to monitor the conduct of parties and make regulations as may be necessary for the discharge of its responsibilities under the Constitution of Sierra Leone.
The Political Parties Registration Commission will be preparing the people of Sierra Leone for the 2007 elections, while the National electoral Commission (NEC) will be conducting the elections.