Media Coordinator in the office of the Government Spokesman of Sierra Leone, Mr. Abdulai Bayraytay has reiterated President Ernest Bai Koroma’s Commitment to fully abide by the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, which restricts any serving President of Sierra Leone to two consecutive terms in office.
“President Ernest Bai Koroma is a firm believer and respecter of the rule of law and contrary to speculations and rumors, “he has no intention to impose himself on the electorate by abrogating an entrenched clause of the 1991 constitution to bid for a third term in office.” Said Mr. Bayraytay.
According to Section 46. (1) Of the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone “No person shall hold office as President for more than two terms of five years each whether or not the terms are consecutive.”
Speaking at a well-attended meeting of Sierra Leone community members including executives of branches of Political Parties (APC&SLPP) and other United States registered Sierra Leonean organizations Chaired by Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens, at the Conference room of the 1701 19th Street NW Embassy of Sierra Leone on Saturday March 8, 2014, Mr. Bayraytay said “President Ernest Bai Koroma is using the mandate given him by the people of Sierra Leone to invest and transform our Country to a better Sierra Leone: “he has no intention of destroying his works.”
Mr. Bayraytay dispelled rumor of a third term agenda by the Government and blamed mischievous people for peddling untrue stories.
He said the genesis of this rumor sprung soon after the formation of the Constitutional Review Commission.
He allayed the fears of sceptics and further credited the previous ex – President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah led government for setting up the Constitutional Review Commission.
“The review of the 1991 Constitution was a recommendation by Dr. Peter Tucker, who led the team that authored it. You can make your voice heard and contribute to the constitutional review commission either by a written letter addressed to the commission or by an e-mail through the embassy of Sierra Leone. Your contribution/s can make a difference.
“The Constitutional Review Commission is made up of seventy people drawn from all works of life including political parties that have no representation in parliament: and the government is not in any way serving as a compass to direct its activities.
“Therefore it is completely out of place, for people to think that President Ernest Bai Koroma is seeking a third term by directing the activities of the Constitutional Review Commission.”
He also described as untrue, and not to his knowledge that sitting members of Parliament are seeking extension of their lifespan in Parliament from five to seven years.
Mr. Bayraytay described President Ernest Bai Koroma as “the supreme executive authority, Fountain of Honor and Justice: the symbol of national unity and sovereignty, who is also aware of the fact that most problems in the African continent emanated from attempted imposition of a kin or kith to be a Head of State or a successor to the Presidency, or the violation of entrenched clause/s of a Constitution.
In his own contribution, leader of the United Democratic movement (UDM) Mr. Mohamed Bangura re-echoed Mr. Bayraytay’s stance that “President Ernest Bai Koroma is not going to violate the constitution and imposed himself on the people.”
“As the best opposition leader in Sierra Leone and prospective President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, I am ready to take up the mantle of leadership 2017 through the ballot box and there is no way President Ernest Bai Koroma can impose himself on the People.
“As an opposition leader, I oppose what is wrong and support good policies and achievements of the government, because I will have to continue from where it stops.
“An opposition leader should not be seen to be condemning and taking up issues with the government without achievements, after taking up issues, the government should change things.”
“When the roads were bad in the Country, I worked with other opposition Political Parties and the civil society community to ensure that the government takes care of the road business. Now the roads are better.
As I speak, I have a case in court with the West African Examinations Council for seizing the results of students; I won’t go further because the matter is in court. All I can stay: I stand with the people.”
Several questions on Press freedom, The New Airport and New City, Roads Rehabilitation in the Country, Firing of Government Ministers, the Economy, and Status of the Energy sector and Electricity were asked, and answers were provided.
Earlier, Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens declared the meeting open withy Christian and Muslim prayers.