IGR Launches Guidelines for Paramount Chiefs
In a bid to promote and enhance non-violence, free and fair election for women’s emancipation in politics, the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) has on Wednesday 7th February, 2018 launched the Guidelines for Paramount Chiefs on conflict prevention and the protection of women for the March 7th, 2018 election.
IGR Electoral Reform Specialist, Anita Kamara in her statement during the launched recognized the key role played by Paramount Chiefs during elections as custodians of the land where their primary source of authority is particularly in the rural settings, which makes them key players in the democratic governance and processes.
She disclosed that their recent survey conducted on knowledge attitude and practices revealed that Paramount Chiefs remain one of the trusted means of information on elections with up to thirty one percent of the people in some districts relying on them.
This according to her was to ascertain the role Paramount Chiefs play in influencing voters choice and entrenching democratic principles in an elections which gives them the opportunity and responsibility to be champions of principles of inclusion for the peaceful conduct of electioneering activities and promoting fairness in the conduct of electoral or campaign activities in their chiefdoms.
She added that, the involvement of them in politics without been guided could be misconstrued or detrimental to the conduct of free, fair and peaceful elections noting that; the engagement of the institution of chieftaincy in an electoral process is very much ken towards the promotion of democracy in the electoral process at district, local as well as chiefdom levels.
Chairperson of the ceremony Dr. Fredlin M’cormack-Hale IGR/ 50-50, in her statement, commended IGR on the recommendations made during the validation exercise and their engagement with representatives from the National Council for Paramount Chiefs (NCPC), civil society organizations and the media for their valuable inputs while also appealing to the chiefs to cascade the document at all levels for the promotion and development of peace before, during and after the electioneering process.
Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA), Tamba Opel Sam Sumana noted that’; His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has ensured an unprecedented 50.5% women’s participation in economic and political discussion which is more than any other leader ever in the history of Sierra Leone.
He cited few female Ministers and Deputies, Institutions, Departments as well as Agencies working under the APC government as part of women’s empowerment. He assured that the APC Government will continue to involve the participation of women towards good governance and democracy if re-elected come March 7th general election.
Chief Foyah in Kono district, in his statement said that they as Paramount Chiefs have no political candidate and promised to ensure more commitment to support the guidelines to the best of their abilities in order to maintain their credibility particularly when they form part of the developed document to ensure women take the lead.
By: Mohamed Y. Turay
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