Mediating Election Conflict in a Bruised Society: Code of Conduct Monitoring Committees in Post-War Sierra Leone, 2006-2012

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Abstract 

Sierra Leone's contentious 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections threatened to spark violent conflicts across a country just recovering from brutal civil war. To promote peace, the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC)-which had a constitutional mandate to regulate and monitor political parties to ensure their compliance with electoral laws-used national and district code-monitoring committees to encourage adherence to the electoral code of conduct and to mediate conflicts. The committees served as a dispute resolution mechanism and as an important early warning system to identify electoral violence. Partly because of those measures, the 2007 national elections and the 2008 local council elections were largely peaceful despite pessimistic early warning reports. As the 2012 elections approached, the PPRC restructured the committees to include traditional leaders in order to strengthen the committees' capacity to mediate local conflicts. The restructuring enabled the committees to address electoral conflicts more effectively across Sierra Leone.

Rachel Jackson drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Sierra Leone, in February 2013. Case published July 2013.

Associated Interview(s):  Dr. Clever NyathiMagnus Öhman

Keywords 
Sierra Leone
Political Parties Registration Commission
National Election Commission
Conflict management
peace committees
code of conduct monitoring committees
mediation
electoral conflict
electoral violence
political party liaison committee
dispute resolution
code of conduct
Focus Area(s): 
Reducing Divisive Effects of Competition
Elections
Core Challenge: 
Dispute resolution (compliance)
Country of Reform: 
Sierra Leone
Type: 
Case Studies
Author: 
Rachel Jackson