Claim: TikToker Abdulai Bangura17 shared a tweet on TikTok stating that the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) has stopped the All People Congress Party (APC) from holding campaign rallies.
Verdict: FALSE. PPRC’s Director of Training and External Relations, Lucian Momoh, confirms that the PPRC has not stopped or banned any political party from holding rallies. Instead, it has provided a campaign timetable for all parties to prevent supporters from clashing.
Sierra Leoneans are geared up for the country’s presidential election scheduled for June 24, 2023. In the heat of the campaign by the political actors, a TikToker, abdulaibangura17, has shared a tweet from Twitter to TikTok that states that Sierra Leone’s Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) stakeholder Abdulai Bangura has stopped the political rally of the All People’s Congress Party (APC) while allowing the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) to conduct its campaign.
The initial claim on Twitter has since been deleted, but screenshots continue to appear on social media platforms like here on TikTok.
Given the probability of this post spreading misinformation and creating animosity among members of opposing parties in the campaign, DUBAWA found it necessary to investigate the claim.
The researcher first checked with the ECSL to ascertain the campaign’s situation in relation to the law.
DUBAWA found a release published by the ECSL detailing the elections campaign period for Presidential, Parliamentary, and Local Council elections, which kicked off on 23 May 2023.
The campaign calendar dictates the days each political party should go on a rally and at which district they should do so. The full campaign calendar from the ECSL can be downloaded here.
The researcher also located a preliminary report from PPRC on election campaign monitoring. The report indicates the PPRC’s satisfaction with the campaign conduct of all the political parties that have had their rallies from May 23 to June 1.
The researcher additionally interviewed the Director of Training and External Relations, Lucian Momoh, who said:
“The PPRC chairman has never and would never halt any political party from campaigning.”
The claim holds no truth, as the PPRC did not stop any political party from holding its campaign rallies.