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LAB train volunteers on peaceful and credible election PDF Print E-mail
Written by Expotimes   
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 21:15

One hundred and eighty-nine (189) volunteers of the Legal Aid Board have benefited from a one-day United Nations Development Programme funded training on non-violent and credible election at the British Council Hall on October 11.

The participants include 45 volunteers running the fifteen satellite offices of the Legal Aid Board – Community Advisory Bureaus – in the Western Area and 144othersearmarked for Bureaus to be established in the future.

The Consultant to the Board, Madam Memunatu Pratt, Head of Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at Fourah Bay College led discussionson electoral offences and causes of electoral violence.

The participants discussedthe dangers of relying wholly on social media for information on the elections. ‘Social media has the potential to provoke violence and undermine the credibility of the elections,’ Madam Pratt warned. ‘You should rely more on news from the traditional media and the National Electoral Commission.’

As a result, volunteers should sensitize their communities on fake news and fake results on the social media. Also, it was agreed thatthe right to belong and vote for parties free of undue influence should be respected. This means husbands should not intimidate or harass their wives into belonging or voting for a particular party or candidate.

It was also observed that destroying campaign materials of opponents is a major reason for violence in the community.

A session was devoted to developing messages for the elections. The following messages were developed: ‘Wen wifet Mama Salone go cry’, ‘Why wi for lekwisef’, ‘TinkSalonfowibetteh wan tumara’,  ‘Lehwi norfulwisef, no wan tribe go rul dis contri’ and ‘lehwi put Salonefos.’

Madam Pratt also took participants through a Powerpoint presentation on mediation and negotiation skills.

Prior to the start of the workshop, the Executive Director of LAB, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles urged the volunteers to use the Bureaus to mediate disputes more so those on elections in their respective Wards.

The Country Director of UNDP, Dr. Doe said people should learn lessons from the experiences of the war and therefore not resort to violence. He noted that the country is consolidating democracy and therefore should not resort to violence.

The Commissioner for NEC for the North, MacksoodGibrilSesayurged the volunteers to brace themselves for the inevitable reality of election disputes and their antecedents. ‘You need to be aware of the elections rules, regulations, procedures and offences in order to be able to participate authoritatively in election related dispute resolutions.’

Also, statements were delivered by the Deputy Chairperson of the Western Area District Council and representatives of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and the Society for Democratic Initiatives (SDI).

 

Editorial

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Commentary

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Your Excellency Sir,

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View Point

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News - Press Release

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Society -Local News

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