March 6-10, 2000

I. Executive Summary
II. Political Background
III. Current Political Situation
IV. Political Parties
V. Civil Society
VI. Recommendations
VII. Conclusion
Annex 1
Appendix 1
Appendix 2


In July of 1999, Sierra Leone's brutal civil war - in which tens of thousands of citizens died and hundreds of thousands were displaced from their homes - came to a close through the signing of the Lome Peace Accord.  In response to a request by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State, NDI assembled an assessment team which traveled to Sierra Leone to review the state of political parties and political processes, as well as to develop recommendations for assistance as the country prepares for elections in early 2001.

The team traveled to Sierra Leone from March 6-10, 2000 and was comprised of Dr. Paula Newberg[1], a specialist in the political economy of states encountering conflict and economic dislocation; Dr. Luis Serapiao, Associate Professor at Howard University's African Studies Department, a specialist in conflict and post-conflict analysis and U.S. representative for RENAMO during the peace process in Mozambique in the 1990’s; and Shari Bryan, Deputy Director for NDI's Central, East and West Africa programs.

Within Sierra Leone, the mission was restricted to the capitol of Freetown and was limited to five days in the country.  The team met with political party leaders, members of parliament, cabinet ministers, election commission officials, NGO leaders and representatives of the donor community.  The inability to travel outside Freetown, however, prevented the team from meeting with citizens living in the areas most affected by the war and from assessing the political situation outside the capitol.  The team however, was able to visit Sierra Leoneans in refugee camps in the Forecariah District of Guinea, about 20 miles from the border of Sierra Leone.

Most Sierra Leoneans with whom the team met were cautiously optimistic about the possibility of a lasting peace.  The strong hunger for stability is evidenced by the acceptance of the Lome Accords, which provide for a general amnesty to all combatants, including the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), thought to be responsible for most atrocities committed over the past eight years.  While few citizens suggested that they would be willing to support the RUF in an election, their desire to return to their homes in peace and without threat of violence, overrode most objections to the peace plan and to the participation of the RUF as a political party.

Even though rebel leaders have taken positions in key government ministries, and legislation implementing the peace accords has been passed in parliament, the disarmament of combatants is proceeding at an unacceptably slow rate, calling into question the motivation and commitment of the former combatants, particularly the RUF.  As a result, almost fifty percent of the country remains inaccessible, the return of refugees has been hampered, and United Nations troops have failed to deploy to all parts of the country.  The process is at a standstill and the political actors find themselves in a vacuum where blame is cast by all and resolve is taken by none.

The ability of organizations to assist in strengthening political parties and the political process in Sierra Leone will depend on improving the protection of civil and political rights; the disarmament and demobilization of the former warring factions; the verifiable commitment by the major political actors to implement the Lome Accords; and the repatriation of refugees.  Should these conditions exist, NDI recommends that assistance be provided to strengthen political parties and political processes in Sierra Leone through efforts that will:

  • encourage inter-party dialogue in order to move the process forward;
  • build internal political party structures and systems;
  • strengthen the capacity of political parties to develop platforms and to communicate with the electorate; and
  • increase public confidence in the electoral process through election monitoring.


Post Independence
Sierra Leone's post-colonial independence has been marred by five coups and counter-coups, over ten years of single-party rule, and a civil rebellion which left thousands dead and more than 450,000 citizens displaced, living as refugees in neighboring countries.  Competitive elections were first introduced in Sierra Leone in 1951, ten years before independence from Great Britain.  Through elections for a legislative council (in 1951) and a national House of Representatives (in 1957), the Sierra Leone People's's Party (SLPP), headed by Sir Milton Margai, emerged at the helm of power when independence did arrive in 1961.   Post-independence elections in 1962 however, brought the first official opposition party to the fore, the All-People's Congress (APC), headed by Siaka Stevens, a former SLPP leader who broken away to form his own party.   The emergence of the SLPP and the APC as the two main political actors in Sierra Leone only reflected the natural ethnic divide in the country - the Mende dominated south and east supporting the SLPP and the Temne dominated north supporting the APC.

While the SLPP managed to remain in power in these first crucial elections, the APC showed its strong base of northern support and secured 16 seats in the 62-member Parliament.  By all accounts multi-partyism along ethnic lines was flourishing.  By 1967, the APC  managed to win 48% of the seats and forming a coalition, built a narrow majority in Parliament.  Within hours of being sworn in as President, however, Siaka Stevens was ousted by a coup encouraged by unhappy leaders of the losing SLPP.  Stevens orchestrated a counter-coup, reinstalling himself as President in 1971, and after seven years in power a 1978  referendum approved his plans to create a one-party state.

Emergence of the RUF
Stevens ruled the country until 1985, when he handed over power to his chosen successor, Major-General Joseph Saidu Momoh.  In 1991, as multi-partyism swept Africa, Momoh made the decision to return the country to multiparty democracy.  At the same time, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), under the leadership of Corporal Foday Sankoh, and backed by Liberia's Charles Taylor and Libya's Mohmar Gadhafi, began operating as rebel movement, attacking villages, military troops and installations in the south-eastern part of the country.

Sankoh, an army corporal discharged and jailed for participating in a 1969 mutiny, formed the RUF as a rebellion against the years of an authoritarian, one-party state that had sunk the country into poverty and corruption.  Appealing to the unemployed and disenfranchised youth in the early 1990's, Sankoh's movement promised free education and medical care, an end to corruption, nepotism and tribalism. Most observers are quick to point out that Sankoh's viability throughout the 1990's was a result of external supporters, particularly Charles Taylor who has acted as a surrogate for Sankoh, transhipping diamonds out of Sierra Leone and providing the RUF with the arms and money necessary to keep the rebellion afloat.

By 1992, the country's third coup took place, removing Momoh from office, only to be replaced by a disgruntled junior army officer, Valentine Strasser.  Strasser remained in power for four years, with the help of private South African mercenaries who managed to fend off RUF attacks and at the same time mine and export diamonds out of the Kono diamond region.  Strasser was eventually persuaded to commit to multi-party elections and announced a time frame for presidential and parliamentary elections for 1996.  After an attempt to negotiate with the RUF failed, and just prior to the elections, Strasser was himself a victim of Sierra Leone's fourth military coup, led by Brigadier Maada Bio, who claimed that Strasser had a hidden agenda to stay in power. Bio held fast and ushered in multi-party elections in March 1996.

1996 Elections
Over fifteen parties registered to participate in the 1996 elections, the first multi-party elections in over twenty years.  Whereas previous parliamentary elections had been held on a single-member constituency or first past the post (FPTP) system, the Strasser and Bio regimes put in place a proportional representation (PR) system.  The PR system provided voters with list of candidates for each party.  The party with the most votes won, and each party received seats in proportion to percentage of the national vote they received.  Elected leaders therefore, were seen as representing no particular constituency, but rather the nation as a whole.

Six parties won seats[2] in the 80-member Parliament.  The SLPP, led by Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, a former United Nations official recruited from New York to run for President, won a plurality of seats in Parliament.  In the second round of presidential ballots, Kabbah was elected president.   Kabbah's tenure was fleeting and in May 1997, a fifth coup carried out by Sierra Leonean Army (SLA) Major Johnny Paul Koroma and other soldiers unhappy about their poor pay, overthrew the newly elected SLPP government and forced Kabbah in to exile in neighboring Guinea.

Economic Community of West African State Cease-Fire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG)  forces intervened to reinstall Kabbah.  Meanwhile, Koroma renamed his rebels the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and joined forces with the RUF.

For the next several months, sporadic and intense fighting continued between ECOMOG forces and the joint forces of the RUF/AFRC.  In March 1998, through a political and military negotiation, Kabbah was re-installed as President and Koroma and his fellow coup-makers were given blanket amnesty.  Over the next twelve months fighting continued throughout the country, when some of the most brutal atrocities against civilians occurred, culminating in peace negotiations which resulted in the signing of the Lome Accords in July 1999.


Lome Accords
The Lome Peace Accord, signed in July of 1999, brought together the principal rebel groups, the RUF and the AFRC, with the ruling party SLPP, under the leadership of President Kabbah.  Exhausted by a military stalemate and pressured by the international community, the parties conceded to a UN brokered cease-fire[3] and peace plan that provided blanket amnesty to all combatants, and placed Foday Sankoh and other rebel leaders in key ministries of a transition government.  In an ironic twist of fate, Sankoh was put in charge of managing the nations natural resources, including the same diamond mines which have fueled the RUF's brutal insurgency for the past several years.

Key points of the accords include: 1) a cease-fire monitored by United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL); 2)  an interim power sharing government, maintaining Kabbah as President but guaranteeing RUF representation in the cabinet; 3) the transformation of the RUF in to a political party;  4) the formation of a Commission for the Consolidation of Peace -- to monitor the implementation of the Accords; 5) general amnesty to all combatants;  6) the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission; 7) the appointment of a new election commission; and 8) elections to be held in accordance with time frames established by the 1991 constitution (presidential election to be held by March 2001, and parliamentary by June 2001).

The implicit acceptance of an accord void of human rights repercussions by the international community, particularly the United Nations, the United States and Great Britain, was in sharp contrast to peace plans being negotiated around the same time in Kosovo and East Timor.  This double standard is not lost on Sierra Leoneans who are outspoken about the need for the international community to facilitate the peace process.  As one observer noted, "they're the ones who pushed the Lome Accords, so they're the ones who must be there to back it up."

While no one in Sierra Leone expressed enthusiasm for the provisions of the Accords, there appears to be a consensus that the agreement is a preferable alternative to continued war and instability.  Allowing the RUF and other rebels the enjoyment of immunity and the privilege of managing the nations natural resources, is a difficult and bitter reality.  Yet, most Sierra Leoneans accept the fact that political participation by the RUF is a pre-condition of peace.

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration
The Lome Accords hinge on achieving peace through a process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) for all combatants.  To date, this process is largely unfulfilled, leaving the prospect of elections under the current time frame unlikely, unless considerable progress is made  quickly.  The DDR process requires that individual combatants turn in their weapons to designated camps under the control of UNAMSIL troops, and participate in a series of activities designed to ensure that they are ready to return to their homes and begin a productive role in society. This process includes schooling and job training, and is coupled with a financial incentive which is disbursed in two phases -- one at the delivery of weapons and the other at the completion of demobilization.  A total of 45,000 armed combatants are estimated to be in Sierra Leone[4] and to date approximately 20,000 have disarmed, with even  fewer demobilizing.  Of the 16,000 RUF troops, only about one-quarter has reportedly disarmed.

Different interest groups provided their own explanation for the delay in disarmament -- sheer lack of political will by the rebels; deliberate attempts to illegally mine diamonds; slow deployment of UN troops; insufficient financial incentives for disarmament; delays in the funding for and start-up of demobilization camps; and lack of international pressure.  Some speculate that rebels fear returning to their villages where they may face rejection by their peers, and where it is unlikely that they will find jobs or economic viability.  Whatever the root cause, Sierra Leoneans find themselves in situation where blame is cast by all and  responsibility taken by none.  The government believes that it  has complied with all requirements of the Lome Accords, parties in parliament argue they have passed all provisions of the accords into legislation, and the RUF asserts that not enough has been done to accommodate their needs.

The government, the RUF, political parties, civil society and international donors  agree that peace through disarmament is a prerequisite to elections.   Yet the current situation, left unattended, can only result in either a delay in elections or in conducting elections in an environment where significant portions of the country are inaccessible, insecure and in control of armed combatants.


Political parties in Sierra Leone resemble nascent parties throughout the developing world.  Given the country post-independence history punctuated by coups and counter-coups, coupled with over ten years of one-party rule, political organizations have lacked the opportunities to develop into representative bodies.  The parties are urban based and largely personality driven.  They are not identified with issues and ideologies, have little or no relationship to constituents, and derive electoral support along ethnic and regional lines.  As described by one party head, "politics in Sierra Leone is not based on issues, it's based on leaders."

There are currently seventeen registered parties in Sierra Leone, fifteen of which have emerged since 1996.  These parties, especially the newer ones, have little infrastructure and lack the operational characteristics that would permit them to perform the functions usually associated with modern parties, which are more solidly rooted in social forces.  Substantial international assistance will be required before these newer parties develop the capacity to broaden their social and geographical bases of support and can mobilize their constituents around electoral goals.

The political party laws[5] in Sierra Leone require that each party establish offices and representatives in each of the four geo-political regions of the country as a pre-requisite to registration.  As a result, all of the parties interviewed view themselves as "the party of national unity" or the party that bridges the gap between north and south. Nevertheless, each party has a clear ethnic and regional base of support, challenging the assumption that a registration criteria can overcome a culture of ethnicity.

Many of the leaders of today parties emerged  from Sierra Leone's two historical parties - the SLPP and the APC.  Others include academics, business leaders and lawyers.  Newer parties leaders emerging in the post Lome period include Omrie Golley, former RUF spokesperson and attorney, who left the RUF in the fall of 1999.

Of the parties currently registered, only the six parties represented in Parliament were available during the assessment.  The paucity of reliable information about the parties, their  structures and membership was not surprising.  With little or no financial resources, most parties emerged only four years ago in a hastily constructed election that failed to provide ample time and opportunity for true party development.   None of the parties interviewed had data on membership, nor did they have mechanisms for constituency outreach. Only a few of the parties had actual knowledge of the percentage of votes they received in the 1996 elections.

Only the All People's Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) could be considered capable of having an institutional framework.  As the longest ruling party in Sierra Leone, the APC had the luxury of little or no political opposition for almost twenty years.  Its organization and structures survived the war and its regional base of support still lies within the Temne ethnic group based in the northern part of the country.

The ruling SLPP, effectively banned since the mid 1960's, re-emerged in 1996 under the leadership of former UN bureaucratic, Tejan Kabbah, and boasts a national infrastructure divided into the four geo-political regions of the country, with a purported special focus on women and youth.   SLPP regulations provide for a biennial national conference where internal elections are to take place.  There is a national policy council, but no articulated party policy or platform.  The predominant constituencies of the SLPP are the south and the east, primarily the Mende ethnic group.

The United National People's Party (UNPP), organized in 1996, and representing 17 seats in Parliament, distinguishes itself as the party with a middle of the road's party ideology.  Drawing its support from the north and western regions, the UNPP performed well in the 1996 elections, according to one party stalwart, because of its "strong grassroots support, a citizenry disillusioned with the status quo, and a presidential candidate with a strong and appealing personality" - Dr. John Karefa Smart. Smart ran against Kabbah in the 1996 runoff elections, winning 40.5% of the vote, but has since retired and is living in California, unlikely to return to Sierra Leone.

The People's Democratic Party (PDP), a party built out of a coalition of five smaller parties, with representation throughout the country, and a regional stronghold in the north, also emerged in 1996.  It is the third largest party and holds 12 seats in Parliament.  The PDP aligned itself in the presidential elections with SLPP, and benefited from a close relationship with ruling party.  Recently, the party chairman passed away, and the party is now under the new leadership of Osmon Kamaro, a member of parliament and practicing pharmacist who officially split with the SLPP in February of this year.

Smaller parties in parliament like the National Unity Party (NUP) and Democratic Center Party (DCP) are barely recognizable.  The NUP was, like many others, designed to bridge the gap between the north and south.  Standing for national unity, the party claims to have no distinct regional base, and with four seats in Parliament, each coming from one of the four regional area   Like most of the parties, the DCP, was formed in 1996 and won 4.9% of the national vote, which led to a total of 3 seats in Parliament.  There is no articulated party structure or party ideology.

RUF as a Political Party
The Lome Accords provide for the transformation of the RUF from a rebel movement to a political organization.  Few Sierra Leoneans can conceive of a government led by former RUF rebels and their leader Foday Sankoh.  However, they recognize that the RUF must join the process as a political actor in order to ensure a permanent peace.  Political parties and government officials alike expressed a desire to establish a level playing field so that the RUF could participate and compete fairly.  One opposition party official expressed the sentiment by saying, "the RUF needs time to form itself into a party, and Sierra Leone has an unlimited supply of endurance."

Even the most disenfranchised of Sierra Leone -- refugees living outside the country -- understood and accepted that the RUF would exist as a political party.  While no one the team met with suggested that they would be willing to support the RUF in an election, their desire to return to their homes in peace and without threat of violence, overrode any apparent dissatisfaction with a peace plan that provides amnesty for the rebels.

At present, the RUF has received a provisional certificate of registration, but has not completed the final requirements of establishing an office in Freetown and the four geo–political regions.   When the RUF found that it could not find office space in the Freetown area, the government suggested that it might provide federal office space in order for the RUF to receive its final certification.  Although the RUF has yet to establish the framework for its party as an institution, there was speculation by RUF officials that the selections or nominations for leadership positions will be taken in the near future.

The RUF's political platform continues to call for free education, medical care and an end to corruption, with a free market system in place where the nation's wealth is in the hands of the people. Most Sierra Leoneans argue that the RUF has no real political legitimacy in the eyes of the citizens, and its followers are largely  "disenfranchised" and illiterate youth, many of whom may be too young to vote.  The RUF has pleaded for assistance to develop itself as a political party and argues that it is greatly disadvantaged because it lacks the funding necessary to fairly compete with other parties.  This claim rings hollow to most Sierra Leoneans who point out that the RUF is still actively mining the diamond-rich districts in the country, filling their coffers with funds for the elections. Likewise the RUF purportedly owns an FM radio station in Buedu which is broadcasting RUF propaganda across the country's eastern territory.

Political Issues
The parties consistently articulated what most Sierra Leoneans would agree is the fundamental political issue facing the country  &emdash; that elections cannot be held until politicians and civilians can travel freely and safely throughout the country.  At present, 45 per cent of the country is deemed inaccessible and insecure.  Until rebels are disarmed and UNAMSIL forces have control of the country, several hundred thousand refugees and internally displaced persons will not be able to return to their homes.  Likewise, electoral boundaries cannot not be drawn, a voter registration system cannot be put in place, and several political parties with traditional support in the north and eastern regions will remain unable to reach constituents.

At the same time, the newly appointed National Election Commission (NEC), the political parties and other key stakeholders face the challenge of determining the framework and structure of the electoral process.  The NEC, appointed by President Kabbah in February, purportedly in consultation with all parties including the RUF, will have primary responsibility for determining the electoral framework. Yet the political parties in parliament insist that the decision will ultimately be made by the legislature.

The discussion will center upon choosing between the single member constituency system, otherwise known as First Past the Post (FPTP), or the proportional representation system (PR) used in the 1996 elections.  Many parties seem to favor maintaining the PR system, in part because the requirements of FPTP elections are too burdensome given the short time frame before elections.  In addition, many refugees and internally displaced persons may not be able to return to their constituencies prior to registration.  Because the choice of an election system can determine, in large measure, which party gains power, this decision is difficult and necessarily highly politicized. Clearly, these decisions will be made in the political arena, and ultimately it will be parliament that will pass legislation establishing the electoral framework.


The importance of the role of civil society in the current transition process in Sierra Leone should be underscored.  Serving as the only link between a disenfranchised and traumatized citizenry,  and an isolated political elite, civil society may ultimately provide the fabric of political discourse in Sierra Leone.  Working as an assertive and organized constituency in a country where the government has abdicated many of its responsibilities, civil society may actually be in a position to shape the discourse.  As noted by one government minister, "civil society is extremely strong and vocal.  It should play a role in the elections and can help bring credibility to the elections."

NGOs, religious organizations, labor unions and the media are well placed to play an integral role in educating citizens about the Lome Accords, in assisting the implementation of the DDR process, and in preparing for elections.  Local and international NGOs are currently involved in providing relief to the thousands displaced by the ravages of the war.  Other non-governmental organizations have taken on the task of educating citizens about the Accords, the process of disarmament and the plans for elections.  For example, a donor sponsored program entitled the "Education for Peace Program" is designed to provide civic education to citizens in rural areas on the content of the Lome Accords, and an explanation of the DDR process.  Through a training of trainers program, a core group of 30 Master Trainers will train Community Trainers every month, seeking to provide civic education to a majority of the rural population prior to elections.

The Inter-Religious Council (IRC), a coalition of Muslim and Christian religious organizations has also played a significant role in the peace process.  Viewed as non-partisan and apolitical, the religious community was one of the first interlocutors to "go to the bush" and meet with Foday Sankoh to discuss possible cease-fire.  The Council may now be able to use its non-partisan position to assist in moving forward the stagnant disarmament process.

Another attempt to help citizens restore normalcy to the lives of citizens is an innovative program sponsored by the Government of Sierra Leone, designed to restore paramount chiefs to their homes and villages.  The government will sponsor a two-day seminar on issues identification and conflict resolution in all of Sierra Leone's 149 chieftaincies.  The seminar will attempt to identify the specific issues that are critical to residents of the particular chieftaincies, prior to the return of the paramount chief.  Conflict resolution committees will be formed and will be responsible for monitoring the peace process.  All of the information that is gathered at these meetings will be compiled and archived.

Recently, human rights and pro-democracy NGOs in Freetown began an effort to speed up the process of disarmament by lobbying the various stakeholders.  Holding firm that elections should not take place until "substantial disarmament" takes place, the NGOs are planning to organize workshops and seminars with leaders of the rebel groups and other political actors with the aim of reaching consensus on disarmament.


General Considerations
Implementation of  the Lome Accords and the DDR process are part of a larger political process that is occurring in Sierra Leone.  Political actors are involved in facilitating a transition that includes bringing security through disarmament, but which also requires creating a new framework  for political competition that will create a sustainable peace.  The role of political parties, members of the election commission, government officials and NGOs is therefore critical during this interim transition period.

Recognizing the importance of assisting these institutions and individuals, the ability to implement political assistance programs in Sierra Leone will depend largely upon the factors mentioned earlier: 1) the protection of civil and political rights; 2) the disarmament and demobilization of the former warring factions; 3) the verifiable commitment by the major political actors to implement the Lome Accords; and 4) the repatriation of refugees.

Realizing these benchmarks will undoubtedly call for strong and continued international pressure and assistance.  Lessons from successful transitions -- such as those in Mozambique and El Salvador, and from the not so successful transitions in Angola and Cambodia -- suggest that international facilitation is a key factor in ensuring peace and stability. The short time frame set for elections, the current slow pace of disarmament, demobilization and disarmament, and the apparent lack of political will by some parties -- particularly the RUF -- make this even more critical at this juncture.

International pressure, however, should not be viewed as an alternative to a Sierra Leonean solution.  Ultimately, the current state of affairs must be viewed as a "political process" in which Sierra Leoneans negotiate a way forward.  International technical assistance can only provide the tools for establishing the framework in which a peaceful transition and elections, recognized by the major political actors and the international community, are viewed as legitimate.

Recommendations for Strengthening Political Processes and Parties
The following recommendations are intended as points of reference for further discussion. They are premised on certain benchmarks that must be in place before technical assistance is offered and provided.

Phase I: Inter-party Dialogue

Activities during this initial phase could be conducted immediately, and would aim to assist Sierra Leonean political parties by providing the leadership with information on comparative frameworks for implementation of the Lome Accords; to encourage inter-party dialogue on the electoral framework; and to create mechanisms for reducing tensions among political actors.

  • Post-Conflict Roundtable

    The transition process in Sierra Leone is similar to the experience of many other countries emerging from conflict -- slower than expected disarmament; lack of refugee repatriation; an undetermined electoral framework -- all of which are exacerbated by disputes as political rivals inevitably challenge their opponents's commitment to the process.  During the transitions in Angola, Cambodia, El Salvador, Mozambique, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Liberia, many of the same obstacles threatened the prospects for peaceful election.

    A post-conflict roundtable, drawing on political actors from other countries who participated in their respective transition process, can assist in moving the process forward.  By sharing experiences and learning lessons from countries that actually completed successful transitions, as well as those that failed, Sierra Leoneans may be able to create mechanisms that will build consensus within the country on key issues, encourage collaborative problem solving and inspire confidence in the process.

  • Dialogue on Electoral Framework

    Important decisions must be made by members of the election commission, political parties, members of civil society and government officials about the framework for elections and the technical and legal rules which will support that framework.  These decisions must be reached through an open, deliberative and transparent process that provides for the participation of all political parties, civil society representatives, government officials and members of the election commission.

    The International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), in conjunction with the National Election Commission and the political parties in Sierra Leone, has recommended the establishment of Consultative Committee, comprised of the relevant stakeholders, which would meet regularly throughout the election process to address questions of electoral framework.  NDI believes that the establishment of such a Consultative Committee would increase public confidence in the process and ensure political buy-in to the decisions that are made.  NDI is prepared to contribute to that process by providing comparative legislation, elections experts and other assistance, should the need arise.

  • Political Party Code of Conduct

    Critical to the success of any post-conflict transition is the participation of all parties in a process that is deemed fair and equal to all political actors.  The process of developing and implementing a political party code of conduct can help ensure that parties work cooperatively towards the success of the transition and can diminish the prospect for a spoiler's to disrupt the process.  The process of discussing and reaching consensus on a political party code of conduct encourages inter-party dialogue, increases confidence in the use of elections to effect peaceful change, reduces tension and creates possibilities for the creation of a level playing field.

    The experience of countries such as Cambodia, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa further shows that in addition to developing a code of conduct, political parties must train their cadres on the provisions of the code.  Parties must also reach consensus on creating a mechanism for filing, arbitration and settlement of any complaints that may arise due to violations of the code.

    Phase II: Operational and Structural Development

    Phase Two activities would address the need for political parties to develop leadership skills, internal structures, organizational capacity, and functional accountability, which they all currently lack. While the lessons from post-conflict transitions suggest that all parties should be provided assistance to increase their capacity as a means of ensuring a level playing field prior to elections, only those parties that have renounced violence and are actively committed to the disarmament of armed combatants and the implementation of the peace plan, should be assisted during this phase.

  • Workshops on Party Development

    Political parties in Sierra Leone could benefit from technical assistance in developing: leadership skills, membership and recruitment plans, national, regional and local party structures; and organizational capacity.  In the case of the RUF, ensuring that the rebel organization and its followers understand the principles of political plurality and the representative nature of the parties, will increase the likelihood that they remain a participant in the process through the elections.

    The political parties represented in Parliament have conducted a needs assessment and developed recommendations for training assistance (see Annex I).  Working in consultation with all parties in Sierra Leone, including the RUF, a series of workshops could facilitate the establishment of the fundamental principles of political party development.

    Phase III: Platform Development & Campaign Training

    The gulf between the citizens of Sierra Leone and political party leaders is enormous.  Geographically cut off and displaced, most citizens have not had an opportunity to interact with their elected officials in the last four years.  In addition, the political culture in Sierra Leone, like in many African nations, is not based on the issues of the citizenry, but rather on the personalities of the politicians. Critical to post-transition period of rebuilding of Sierra Leonean society is for political leaders to develop a practice of consultation with their constituents.  A large number of disenfranchised youth and unemployed adults will expect elected leaders to not only ensure a lasting peace, but provide opportunities for economic redevelopment.  These concerns must be expressed by citizens and understood by parties and politicians, prior to the elections.

    Phase Three activities are designed to assist the political parties and their candidates in understanding the issues critical to most Sierra Leoneans, and to develop platforms and programs that will bring credibility to the political system; develop communication and outreach systems; and prepare for the identification and selection of candidates.   Activities require that parties have secure access to all regions of the country, that all combatants are disarmed, and that the repatriation of refugees has occurred.

  • Information Gathering Roundtables

    Political leaders, parties and candidates must be able to understand the many issues that face the majority of citizens in the country.  As most parties are urban-based and lack access to travel throughout the country, their ability to gather first-hand information from citizens is hampered.  Currently, a number of government agencies and NGOs are conducting programs in Sierra Leone that will provide a wealth of information about citizens views of the peace accords, the DDR process and the problems they face in rebuilding their lives.  By bringing together political parties, civic organizations and government agencies, roundtables could provide a forum where valuable information is shared with parties and their representatives, as they begin to develop campaign platforms.  These interactions will also provide parties the opportunity to develop relationships with various interest groups and expand their base of political activists.

  • Workshops on Platform and Message Development

    Parties in Sierra Leone currently lack identification with particular programs, policies or platforms.  Using information gathered from civil society, as mentioned above, parties can learn how to develop the platforms and the various ways of communicating their message through the print and radio media, town hall meetings and other constituency outreach programs.

  • Campaign Training

    In order to effectively reach voters with policy platforms, parties must have strong and organized campaigns.  Workshops and roundtables with party leaders and their candidates can address how to develop strategic campaign plans, how to build campaign management teams, and how to motivate and mobilize party membership.

    Phase IV: Election Monitoring

    In the lead up to the elections, Phase Four activities would build Sierra Leonean capacity for political party pollwatching and nonpartisan monitoring, in order to increase public confidence in the electoral process.  By working with civil society organizations and political party representatives to train a cadre of domestic and party monitors, citizens of Sierra Leone can play a critical role in overseeing elections and in build public confidence in the election process.  Complete disarmament of all combatants, secure accessibility to all regions of the country, and deployment of UNAMSIL troops throughout Sierra Leone, should be a prerequisite to the implementation of the activities.

  • Political Party Pollwatching

    Effective election monitoring by political parties increases prospects for a genuine election process and helps deter fraud and irregularities at various stages of preparation and on election day.  Mobilization of party pollwatchers encourages  public confidence and acceptance of election results.  Collection by party activists of information about electoral abuses allow the parties to effectively use electoral complaint mechanisms, reinforcing the rule of law to resolve election disputes peacefully.  Pollwatcher training also builds capacity within parties and provides opportunities for party members to participate in the political process.

    Non-Partisan Domestic Monitoring

    Domestic monitoring efforts by non-partisan groups can also contribute to a more genuine election process by encouraging fairer campaign practices and reducing the possibility of fraud and irregularities on election day.  Working with civil society organizations, including the National Labor Congress (which has participated as domestic monitors during the 1996 elections), domestic monitoring can enhance organizational skills, and provide citizens with an opportunity actively support and serve the process.


    The prospects for sustainable peace in Sierra Leone will depend largely upon the commitment of all political actors in the country, including the international community.  At present, most observers question the commitment of Foday Sankoh and the RUF, as combatants continue to control large portions of the country and refuse to disarm.  Elections scheduled for the first quarter of 2001 appear to be in jeopardy, as the time required for preparations and the repatriation of refugees cannot begin until most areas of the country are secure.

    Technical assistance for political parties can be a critical element in ensuring a credible and peaceful transition and should be provided in Sierra Leone.  However, assistance should be provided in a phased approach, only to those parties that have renounced violence, disarmed their combatants or followers, and show a commitment to the ongoing implementation of the peace process. Furthermore, later phases of assistance should be contingent upon secure access to all parts of the country and the repatriation of refugees.

    NDI would like to express its gratitude to the people of Sierra Leone for their hospitality, time and insights; and would particularly like to thank U.S. Ambassador Joseph Melrose, the U.S. Embassy staff; and the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Freetown for their invaluable assistance.

    Annex I

    Sierra Leone: Informal Trip Review
    Dr. Paula Newberg

    TO: Ken, Tom, Chris, Pat, Ivan, Shari
    FROM: Paula Newberg
    RE: Sierra Leone: informal trip review
    DATE:15 March 2000

    Thank you all for suggesting that I visit Sierra Leone.  Our visit was far too short to offer any but the most preliminary observations -- my own are far from definitive -- but offered at least a partial portrait of a state endeavoring to escape the many traps of violence.  My comments here are personal, and can at best supplement those of my fellow mission members and other NDI staff.

    Sierra Leone is an exceptionally interesting country, living through very trying times.  I went in search of prospects for peace and democracy, and found little of either -- just yet.  Its troubling political environment seems, at least at this moment, to be at odds with the aspirations of most of the people with whom we met.  As you will quickly note, I do not think that Sierra Leone is a place in which NDI can contemplate a traditional political parties program now.  The political and security obstacles that exist by virtue of its proximity to war are considerable, and create an environment that I do not believe is conducive to effective political party work at this time. I hope, however, that the accumulation of concerned visitors sends a message to Sierra Leone's citizens that when opportunities arise in the future, outsiders will be quite willing to help them take advantage of them.

    A. Politics, peace and democracy

    Peace has not yet come to Sierra Leone.  The agreements reached last year at Lome are aspirations, not decisions, and most have yet to be fulfilled.  The government appears unhappy with what it signed, and seems to be having considerable difficulty creating an environment that will bring peace closer.  Everyone with whom we met believed that peace was a future good, not a present one; this peace treaty has yet to signal an end to conflict.  The relationship between peace and elections has not been settled, notwithstanding rhetoric to the contrary. And elections are unlikely unless much more progress is made in stabilizing the country, politically and economically.

    Every mission is captive to the moment in which it lives; I would be delighted to learn that the difficulties we observed in our meetings in Freetown are transitory.   But prevailing circumstances suggest that peace is still illusory, recovery is distant, and weaponry still constitutes the country's primary political currency. To the degree that the Lome accords are acceptable to the government -- and based on our meetings, they appears to be only minimally so -- it is because the government cannot sustain its tenure without moving closer to resolving conflict.  This is not entirely bad, but for now, however, the demands of Lome are treated as valid primarily because the establishment seems to have run out of ideas.

    In a sense, therefore, the demands of the accord may clash with constitutional requirements to hold elections within the year.  It is likely, at least just now, that the government may contemplate an election postponement, and the main opposition parties may, by the time this decision is taken, decide that delay is also in their best interests.  Once again, this may not be all that harmful to future preparations for democracy.  But if a choice were presented between peace and democracy, I suspect that most of Freetown -- including the international donors whose funds keep the national budget afloat -- would choose peace.

    This is, or should be, a false choice.  I see no way to sustain a future peace except through democratic institutions founded on equitable political participation.  But few individuals with whom we spoke -- and this includes almost every political party leader we encountered -- fully believe this.

    The accords have also contributed to a vocabulary of false or inadequate expectations.  Almost every political discussion turns around concepts and practices that might encourage disarmament.  The government, its foreign supporters, and most of the political commentators with whom we met seem to believe that ridding the country of guns is the primary, if not exclusive, condition for organizing elections.  This is radically incomplete.  After nine years of fighting about disagreements too distant to remember, the economic structure of the country is dreadfully deficient for supporting the recovery that Sierra Leone requires.  Unless demobilization can be accomplished thoroughly and equitably, the disarmament process is likely to become a weapons-recycling program -- surely not the stuff of which democracy is made.

    For now, the absence of active fighting is at best in the nature of remission.  The political pressures on the government to move forward are not those of an actively political population, but of the small political clubs around which the capital is organized. The country's primary agenda, however, is recovery from war.  For that to happen, the passing priorities of a small group of people are irrelevant: the story of Sierra Leone's future politics is likely to be written initially in space that lies outside formal politics. Unless, or until, parties and politicians associate themselves with the substance of recovery -- activity that is difficult but neither impossible nor proscribed by the government -- formal politics is likely to play only auxiliary roles in reconstructing Sierra Leone.

    B. Parties and programs

    There are many ways in which Sierra Leone today resembles its neighbors: it is in transition from one party rule and from military dictatorship, both persistent phenomena in post-colonial Africa.  But these transitions have been overtaken by a long series of wars, and it is war that colors the political environment.  To a considerable extent, however, political parties remain extrinsic to this environment, a choice that allows them to blame the government for its inadequacies without taking responsibility for change.

    Sierra Leone's war has been remarkably dehumanizing, and reflects, among other things, the failure of pre-war politics.  The parliamentary opposition is comprised of members who not long ago were members of the state's single party.  They have assumed their positions by virtue of their ethnic or geographic origins, as well as their relationships to one another, not because their ideologies or policies differ.   Although everyone with whom we met underscored the essentially peaceful nature of ethnic and sectarian relations, the 1990s have shown us many places that began their wars in social harmony, and ended them in explosive enmity.  Sierra Leone is not immune to such future dangers; moreover, there was little that we learned from the political parties that would suggest that they view these problems as theirs to solve.

    The country is therefore left with a political discourse that exists at an unmistakable remove from the political needs of the citizenry.  The ties of community have already been strained by fighting, and the ties that bind the state to its constituents have been frayed by a gun culture that has removed the writ of the state from as much as 45% of the country.    Reviving politics in Sierra Leone requires local-level, grassroots commitments that can tie the disarmament, demobilization and reconstruction agenda to future representative politics.  Political parties, in my view, may be useful vehicles for local level democracy building; they should not be mistaken to be the immediate beneficiaries of such efforts.

    The current status of the RUF, and its seeming reluctance to turn from combat to politics, seems to reinforce this view.  In addition, the seeming incapacity of the government to create an environment that might enable the RUF to rethink the incentives that could bring it combatants out from the bush reinforces a climate of indecision and insecurity.  The direct attention that the RUF receives in the Lome accords clearly unbalances an already bumpy political playing field.  The resentments that the accords have fueled lead me to believe that the government does not yet believe that it will ever have to meet the RUF/P in polls.  The opposition may be coming to similar conclusions. But what appears politically clever could turn out to be quite dangerous: a policy that attempts to separate the RUF leader from his gun-toting teenagers, particularly without any obvious alternate leadership, could lead to armed chaos.  The same might be said for other armed factions whose activities are currently of less direct consequence to the ruling party.

    I offer this diagnosis with reluctance: I am all too aware that our exposure to Freetown was not complete, and our exposure to the rest of the country was nil.  The little we were able to learn about local level politics appears to be highly contestable.  It appears that the government is trying to rejuvenate old administrative structures, but these policies -- which seem to build on the traditional chiefs' networks -- may as easily be used to reduce future opposition influence or, alternatively, to remove local administration from politics. However familiar these tactics may seem, they are nonetheless inappropriate in a state attempting to reintroduce democratic practices.

    C. Planning for the future

    My personal punch line is fairly clear: this is not the time to organize, or even prepare, for a traditional political parties program.  It may be the time, however, to contemplate a fuller assessment of the country's complex political, military, economic and social environments.  This would require, at the least, a thorough analysis of DDR programs, and an equally thorough examination of the remaining links between the capital and those citizens who live in regions beyond government control.  The rudiments of the government's development policies, the intersection of rights protections and political participation, the scope and stability of peacekeeping, and the capacity of NGOs to work with and around government-created constraints -- all are elements of an assessment that, despite security problems, seems appropriate and practicable.

    Such an assessment would make it much easier to take future judgments about the timing and content of broad civil society initiatives with which political parties might be associated.  Neither assessment nor program planning are easy to organize, particularly if the prospect of renewed violence remains high.  As long as Sierra Leone is encircled by sharp political divides between north and south, among exiles and residents, and between former combatants and their victims, recovery and redevelopment are likely to be difficult.  Under such circumstances, however, participatory governance is an integral element in recovery.

    I would therefore steer clear of the capital's elite, and look toward programs that can bring politics to the agrarian areas.  This may mean looking for new or unaccustomed partners— possibly including relief organizations and development NGOs that are not NDI's usual program partners.  Refugee camps proscribe political activity, with good reason; but the incentives for refugee and IDP return may well lie in their ability to participate in recovery.  If these activities can be joined to future political party activity, then it is ground worth tilling.

    Appendix 1

    List of Contacts and Meetings

    1. Ambassador Joseph Melrose
      United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone

    2. Ms. Terry Leary
      Country Director
      Office of Transition Initiatives

    3. Hon. Momodu Koroma
      Minister of State for Presidential Affairs

    4. Mr. Raouf Mazou
      Senior Program Officer
      United Nations High Commission for Refugees

    5. Mr. John Caulker
      Forum for Conscience

    6. Mr. Ibrahim Sesay (former Commissioner)
      Independent National Election Commission

    7. Dr. David Ede
      Department for International Development
      Emergency Response Team for Disarmament Demobilization and Rehabilitation

    8. Hon. Dr. A.Y.S. Koroma
      Democratic Centre Party (DCP)

    9. Dr. Prince Alex Harding
      Secretary General
      Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP)

    10. Dr. Ramadan Dumbuya
      Deputy Leader
      National Unity Party (NUP)

    11. Rtd. Lt. Col. Johnny Paul Koroma
      Commission for the Consolidation of Peace

    12. Political Party Leaders in Parliament

    13. Mr. Uriah Davies
      Sierra Leone Labor Congress

    14. Dr. Joe Lappia
      Program Manager
      Governance Secretariat

    15. Civil Society Dinner
      Ms. Zainab Bangura - Campaign for Good Governance
      Mr. Shear Moses - President, Sierra Leone Bar Association
      Mr. Picabo - Common Cause
      Mr. Mike Carroll - Chamber of Commerce
      Dr. Gordon Harris - Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association
      Mr. Davidson Kuyateh - Sierra Leone Teachers Union

    16. Chairman Foday Sankoh
      Revolutionary United Front (RUF)

    17. Hon. Osman Kamaro, MP
      Party Leader
      People's Democratic Party (PDP)

    18. Mr. Walter Nichol
      Independent National Election Commission

    19. Hon. Dr. Raymond Kamara
      Party Leader
      United National People's Party (UNPP)

    20. Hon. Dr. James Jonah
      Minister of Finance

    21. Refugee Camps

    Appendix 2

    Political Parties in Parliament
    Development Support Project

    Political Parties Development Support Project (P.P.D.S.P.)

    PREPARED BY: Hon. Dr. Ahmed Ramadan Dumbuya in consultation with Leaders of Political Parties in Parliament


    8. TIMING
    11. BUDGET



        Political parties are associations of people who share certain political aims, ideas, values and beliefs in common and are united in their effort to gain political power or elect individuals into political office.  They have now become an integral part of modern political systems and play a variety of roles as well as perform a variety of functions in the political system.

        1.2 The significance of political parties was underlined not too long ago at a Summit meeting of Leaders of Commonwealth Africa at Safari Lodge in Botswana on the 26th-27th of February 1997, when a decision was reached that political parties should be funded by the State on a basis to be agreed.  The political leaders also acknowledged they too had responsibilities and duties.  These included the need for all political parties to act democratically and hold their own internal elections.  They should not exploit ethnic, racial, religious or other divisive tendencies and should not treat their political opponents as ‘the enemy’, but rather engage in discourse and dialogue with each other.  (“BOOSTING DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA” COMMONWEALTH CURRENTS Commonwealth Secretariat No. 1, 1997 p. 3)


        Political parties emerged in Sierra Leone as early as 1950 when the National Council of Sierra Leone was formed followed in August 1951, with the formation of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).  The All Peoples Congress Party (APC) and several other parties followed in the footsteps of the original pioneers some years later.  The tradition of political party competition in Sierra Leone was interrupted both by military regimes and the introduction of a one party constitution in 1978 until September 1991 when a multi-party constitution was introduced.


        The last General Elections in Sierra Leone were held in February 1996 after some four years under military rule.  The elections were held under the proportional representation system (PR) instead of the constituency based first-past-the-post system provided for in the constitution.  (The provisions of the PR system have now been incorporated into an Act of Parliament).  Thirteen political parties contested the elections out of an original number of seventeen.  Six political parties gained seats in Parliament including 27 for the SLPP, 17 for the UNPP, 12 for the PDP, 5 for the APC, 4 for the NUP and 3 for the DCP making a total of 68 seats.


        2.1 Apart from the SLPP and APC, the remaining parties in the current Parliament are all new, having emerged only a few months before the general elections were due.* Their organization and structure remain weak and their operational capacity remains negligible.  Many of the party lists were hastily compiled to beat the deadline set by INEC for submitting the names of candidates for the elections.  Many of the leaders of political parties were not elected at any properly constituted party conventions or conferences.  There is therefore a great need to strengthen the internal structure and organization of political parties as well as to train their leaders in the conduct of the affairs of political parties.

        2.2 As members of Parliament were elected on a list system rather than constituencies, the links between Parliamentarians and the electorate are weak.  It is necessary therefore, to improve relations and strengthen the links between Parliamentarians and the rank-and-file through their respective political parties.

        2.3 Political parties in Sierra Leone generally have a weak financial base and often depend on their leaders and a few important patrons for their survival.  In the past, such patrons are known to have had a harmful effect on the conduct of politics in the country.  Leaders who have provided the bulk of party funds have also tended to be autocratic.  To foster a democratic culture within the parties and to free political parties from the clutches of unscrupulous patrons, financial assistance will have to be provided for all viable political parties.


        3.1 A vibrant multi-party democracy is predicated on the existence of viable political parties competing with one another for the attention and support of the public in an environment of peace and security.  The existing constitution of Sierra Leone “Constitution of Sierra Leone (Act No 6 of 1991”), is designed to promote healthy political party competition as a hedge against one-party rule and to ensure effective checks and balances in the political system.  A Member of Parliament therefore loses his seat in Parliament if he joins a party in Parliament other than the one under whose auspices he was elected or sits and votes consistently with another party in Parliament other than his own.  “Constitution of Sierra Leone (Act No 6 of 1991)” (Section 77 (1) (k & l).

        3.2 In Sierra Leone, the activities of political parties are to be regulated by an independent Commission,  “Political Parties Registration Commission” whose members are appointed by the President subject to the approval of Parliament.  Constitution of Sierra Leone (Act No 6 of 1991) Section 34(2).  The Constitution further provides that:

        “The internal organization of a political party shall conform to democratic   principles and its aims, objectives, purposes and programmes shall not contravene, or be inconsistent with any provisions of the Constitution”,   Section 35(2) Constitution of Sierra Leone (Act No 6 of 1991).

        3.3 Political parties must therefore conform to the relevant provisions of the Constitution and satisfy conditions under which political parties are to operate or risk being suspended by the Political Parties Registration Commission.  It is of paramount importance therefore that:

        1. Leaders and members of political parties understand provisions of the Constitution and be in a position to apply them correctly,>

        2. the internal organization of political parties conform with democratic principles,

        3. the aims, objectives, purposes and programmes of political parties be consistent with the provisions of the Constitution,

        4. political parties be freed from financial dependence on their leaders or on unscrupulous patrons,

        5. political parties be in a position to satisfy conditions laid down in the Constitution for their continued existence.

        3.4 Constitutional requirements as well as the expectations of the populace put tremendous pressures on political parties in Sierra Leone.  Unless political parties receive substantial assistance from the Government of Sierra Leone and interested external donors, they are not likely to adequately fulfill the Constitutional role assigned to them or serve as an effective bulwark for democracy in the country.

        3.5 The current state of the economy and the fact that most parties are young, inexperienced and lacking in financial resources make it doubtful whether many political parties will survive to the next general elections without substantial assistance from the Government and external donors.  This request for assistance is geared therefore, towards ensuring the continued existence of a healthy multi-party system in the country as well as the survival of the country’s fledgling democracy.


        4.1 Strengthen the internal structures, organization and the financial base of the political parties.

        4.2 Improve the operational capacity of the party leadership.

        4.3 Foster strong links between the political leadership and the rank-and-file of each party.

        4.4 Promote democratic practices within political parties.

        4.5 Increase Grass-roots participation in politics.


      OUTPUT 5.1



      Socialize, educate and train party workers and party leaders in the principles of democracy, the relevant sections of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, general organization of political parties and management of their affairs through seminars and workshops.

      OUTPUT 5.2



      i) Raise the level of civic awareness among the general public

      ii) Disseminate information about political institutions and political processes to the public

      iii) Ensure the free flow of information from the party leadership to the rank-and-file and upward flow from the rank-and-file to the leadership

      iv) Promote frequent consultations and exchange between the various party leaders on the one hand and between the rank-and-file of the various parties on the other.

      OUTPUT 5.3



      i) Train party leaders in the general organization and management of political parties through seminars and workshops

      ii)  Draw up a code of conduct for leaders and members of political parties consistent with the requirements of the Constitution and the principles of democracy.

      iii) Train party leaders in the preparations of party constitutions, Manifestos, programme of activities eg. fund raising, political campaigns, communication with the public etc.

      OUTPUT 5.4



      i) Raise enough funds for party activities eg. Dances, bazaars, sales of assorted party insignias, etc.

      ii)  Secure party offices in Freetown, the capital and the three provincial headquarter towns for each registered political party.

      iii) Provide adequate office, transportation and communications equipment for political parties.

      iv) Provide remuneration for office staff.


        6.1 The project focuses on development of political parties in four critical areas viz:

        1. Skills training and capacity building for the party workers and the leadership.

        2. Political empowerment of the civil society through membership in political parties.

        3. Improvement of the structures, organization, financial standing and operational capacity of political parties and

        4. The creation of a healthy political environment for multi-party democracy.


        7.1 Funding for the Political Parties Development Support Project (PPDSP) is to be provided by the Government of Sierra Leone, External Donors and the membership of the Political Parties.

        7.2 The Government of Sierra Leone will contribute to the project costs by providing office accommodation and basic office furniture for party offices in Freetown and the 3 provincial Headquarter towns, basic salaries for the staff of party offices and funds for telephones, electricity, fuel and lubricants. (See: Budget, Section 11B)

        7.3 Substantial project costs will be in the form of contracts entered into with local Sierra Leonean consultants for training party leaders and party workers and civic education of the general populace.  Donor agencies are to be approached to provided funds for training costs as well as for the acquisition of office, transportation and communications equipment. (See Budget, Sections 11A & C).

        7.4 All other running costs are to be met by the political parties themselves.

    8. TIMING

        8.1 All support to political parties should start immediately and continue up to the end of the life of the present Parliament.


      Monitoring and evaluation of the project will be primarily the responsibility of the Political Parties Registration Commission and agencies of external donors.  Indicators of the successful operation of the project will include the degree of compliance of political parties with the provisions of Section 35 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone (Act No 6 of 1991), the continued existence of a vibrant multi-party forum in Parliament, an increase in the number of political party activities and in the number of registered members of political parties.


      A major threat to the successful implementation of the project is the current state of internal insecurity and long-term prospects of political and economic instability.  The lingering effects of the one-party syndrome and very much in place and could militate against the development of a genuine multi-party democracy especially if the country returns to constituency elections based on the first-past-the-post system.

    11. BUDGET

      The budget is designed to cover development in three broad areas:

      1. Institutional capacity building and skills training.
      2. Logistical and Technical assistance.
      3. Reaching the People-Dissemination of ideas, information, consultations with people, etc.


      1. One seminar per year for leaders, officials and selected members of political parties in Freetown, Bo, Kenema and Makeni.
        Duration: 2 days in each place totaling 8 days.

      2. Two short-term training workshops per year for party leaders on specified topics.
        Location: Freetown
        Duration: 5 days for each workshop totaling 10 days

      3. Two short-term training workshops per year for party workers on operational duties.
        Location: Bo and Makeni
        Duration: 5 days for each workshop totaling 10 days

      4. COSTS
        2 Consultants’ fees for 1 month
        US 2000 x 2 x 1
        US 4000.00
        Subsistence for 2 consultants
        Le250,000 x 30 days x 2
        Subsistence for leaders and officials
        Le2000,000 x 24 x 4 x 2
        Le 38.4M
        Subsistence for Training workshop for party leaders
        Le200,000 x 24 x 10 days
        Subsistence for Training workshop for party workers
        Le100,000 x 24 x 10 days
        Transportation Costs
        Food, drinks and tea
        Hire of Halls
        Preparation of Code of Conduct for political parties.
        Consultant’s fee for 1 week
        US 500 x 1
        US 500


        1. Rent of Party Offices  
          a) Freetown: Le2.5m x 6 x 1 Le15m
          b) Provinces: Le1m x 6 x 3 Le18m
        2. Electricity  
          a) Freetown: Le25,000 x 12 x 6 Le1.8m
          Le15,000 x 12 x 6 x 3 Le3.4m
        3. Telephone  
          a) Freetown: Le50,000 x 12 x 6 x 1 Le3.6m
          b) Provinces: Le25,000 x 12 x 6 x 3 Le5.4m
        4. Fuel and Lubricants  
          6 4-wheel Drive Vehicles 2 Gallons per day x Le3,500 x 30 days x 6 x 12 Le15.12m
          6 Light vans 2 Gallons per day x 3,500 x 30 days x 48 x 12 Le15.12m
          48 Motor Cycles 1 Gallons per day x 3,500 x 30 days x 48 x 12 Le60.48m
          Lubricants (engine Oil, Grease, Brake Fluids, etc.)  
          Maintenance for 6 4WD, 6 light vans, 48 motorbikes, 336 bicycles (estimated at 20% cost of vehicles).  
        5. Office staff  
        HEADQUARTER 1 Administrative Assistant
        Le120,000 x 12 x 6
          1 Secretary/Typist
        Le100,000 x 12 x 6
          1 Messenger/Cleaner
        Le50,000 x 12 x 6
          2 Drivers
        Le60,000 x 12 x 6 x 2
        PROVINCES 1 Secretary/Typist Le100 x 12 x 6 x 3 Le3.60m
          1 Messenger/Cleaner
        Le50,000 x 12 x 6 x 3



        6 4-wheel Drive Vehicles
        (1 for each political party in Parliament)

        6 Light Vans
        (1 for each political party in Parliament)

        48 Motor Cycles
        (4 for each political party in Parliament)

        336 Bicycles
        (56 for each political party in Parliament)


        108 Typewriters
        (18 for each political party in Parliament)

        6 Computers, printers and accessories
        (1 for each political party in Parliament)

        6 Heavy-Duty Photo copiers
        (1 for each political party in Parliament)  (Headquarters)

        18 Light-duty Photo copiers
        (3 for each political party in Parliament)  (Provincial Headquarters)


        24 sets of P.A. System
        (4 for each political party in Parliament)

        24 T.V. Sets and Videos
        (4 for each party in Parliament)

        Contingency – 10% of total

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    [1] Dr. Newberg’s observations are attached in Annex 1.

    [2] SLPP - 27 seats; UNPP - 17 seats; PDP - 12 seats; APC - 5 seats; NUP - 4 seats; and DCP - 3 seats; (paramount chiefs hold 12 appointed seats).

    [3] The U.N., ECOWAS and OAU directly facilitated the peace agreement, which was also unofficially supported by the British, American and Nigerian governments.

    [4] 16,000 RUF, 8,000 AFRC (former Sierra Leonean soldiers loyal to the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council), 15,000 are Civil Defense Forces (former pro-government militias), and 6,000 current Sierra Leone Army.

    [5] The 1991 constitution requires that all parties be registered by the Political Party Registration Commission, an entity that has never been constituted.  Currently, the Electoral Commission performs this function.

    * The PDP was formed shortly before the NPRC Coup of April 29th 1992, but was banned before it could take off the ground.