With the bad blood between the now ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) and the opposition All People’s Congress ( APC ) getting worse, heightening fears of another civil war, an ugly battle of wits and power is raging between the two parties in the quest to elect a new Speaker of the Sierra Leone Parliament.
This dirty battle was predicted from the onset when the recent Presidential and Legislative elections ended with a lop-sided spectacle unknown in Sierra Leone’s politics when the then ruling APC swept to a major victory by winning 68 seats , far more parliamentary seats than the SLPP who had only 49 —but were surprisingly declared losers in the presidential race, creating the spectre where the opposition will control Parliament for the first time and the ruling party will be the minority in Parliament.
THIS APC SUPPORTER WAS BEATEN AND INJURED DURING THE CHAOS BETWEEN SUPPORTERS OF BOTH PARTIES OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT
Usually in Sierra Leone, the party that wins the presidential elections also commands the highest parliamentary members because according to the voting patterns in the country, the same people vote for both the President and the parliamentarian in the various constituencies.
If the status quo remained as it is, it meant that the APC will prevail in the election for Speaker, creating another abnormal spectacle where a Speaker belonging to the opposition will act as President of Sierra Leone when the substantive Head of State is out of the country.
But on the eve of the first sitting of the fifth parliament of Sierra Leone, chaos was injected into the process when it was confirmed that the High Court of Sierra Leone had slammed an injunction on 11 elected members of parliament of the now opposition All People’s Congress ( APC ), with these MPs rendered unqualified to participate in the elections for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, though both the SLPP and APC had filed petitions against each other in court. According to an angry APC Secretary General, Mr. Osman Yansaneh complained that the High Court refused to hear the APC petitions and described it as a deliberate ploy by the much-vilified judiciary –Which always supports the government in power willy nilly — to deny the APC the majority it commands to subvert the will of the people.
Probably suspecting foul play, the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. S.B.B. Dumbuya, released a press statement, postponing the first sitting of Parliament indefinitely, citing Section 79, subsection 2 of the Sierra Leone Constitution ,Act No. 6 of the 1991 Constitution and Standing Order 8 of the Standing Orders of Parliament. But dramatically , the Clerk Of Parliament responded swiftly by describing the action of the Speaker as illegal and of no effect. He ordered parliamentarians to be at their seats at 10 am, citing Section 86 ( 1) of the 1991 constitution which stipulates that the President may at any time summon Parliament.
SOMEHOW, APC parliamentarians who were planning to boycott the session if the Clerk went on to convene Parliament, changed plans and appeared for what turned out to be the most chaotic and shameful parliamentary sitting ever in the history of the country. Across, the aisles, parliamentarians behaved like schoolboys and schoolgirls. While the SLPP parliamentarians sang : NAR NOW DE CASE DON WAM, the APC parliamentarians sang
The Clerk of Parliament , The Hon. Paran Tarawally, had emphasized in the morning that all parliamentarians should attend for as far as he was concerned , he had not received any letter with regards to injunctions and he expected the 146 parliamentarians to be in full attendance. However, during the chaos and din in parliament, it was learnt that an interim injunction had been slammed on 21 APC parliamentarians in all, 16 from the Western Area and 5 from the provinces . It was reported that these MPs were served letters with regards to the injunctions . This means that when parliament meets today, the APC will have only 47 members out of the initial 68.
The role of the judiciary in granting these injunctions only in favour of the SLPP, when in fact the APC had also petitioned about 26 SLPP Parliamentarians , provoked sustained debates in the social media about the rottenness of the Sierra Leone Judiciary. Sierra Leoneans , in protest posts on Facebook and Whatsapp, described the judiciary as a prostitute that swings with the wind to always support the government in power . Some SLPP and anti-APC contributors said it serves the APC right because when they were in power, they too used the corrupt and rogue judiciary against the opposition and were now being paid in their own coin.
The public also condemned parliamentarians for putting up a behavior that was no different from the hooligans at Government Wharf or Susan’s Bay.
Posted by Catherine Koroma on Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Posted by Catherine Koroma on Tuesday, April 24, 2018
APC #RarayBoy MP, Mohamed Bangura misbehaves in Parliament.#PaopaFrontline
Posted by Justice Sulaiman Musa on Tuesday, April 24, 2018
VIDEOS SHOWING PARLIAMENTARIANS BEHAVING LIKE STREET BOYS AND GIRLS YESTERDAY.
SOME OF THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY SIERRA LEONEANS :
ON THE EVE OF OUR INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY..DEMOCRACY IS DYING ..SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS….
What sort of future are we breeding for our children.
SLPP and APC cannot see eyeball to eyeball in the well of parliament.
Fighting/Abuse is the order of the day right here.
Where is the put country first now!!!!!!!!!
We need our Spiritual Leaders & Elderlies and all Patriotic citizens of this Country to stand up and Pray for our Sierra Leone… What is happening in Parliament as I speak is not a good sign of Democracy neither Unity & Love.
Civil Societies, where are you?
International Community what about you people??
British High Commissioner,
President Bio! You are the President of Sierra Leone… Stand Up and Speak Up Mr. President…
Judiciary, if anytin happen na dis country na Una.
“Politicians must accept the outcomes of the elections results…..
SLPP clearly won the Presidency and APC won the Legislature. That is that and nothing more, nothing less,”
Standing Together for Democracy Consortium.
They said they are different and the people believed them, but what they actually meant was give us a turn to steal, impoverish you that vote for us and seek revenge against our opponent. Sierra Leone needs Sierra Leoneans😩😩😩😩 not these greedy ones calling themselves politicians.
We Demand Suspension of the Clerk Of Parliament
Whilst the laws gives His Excellency the President the right to appoint the clerk of parliament, the newly appointed clerk must know that he works for parliament and not for the Executive headed by the President; and he must also know that he does not work for the SLPP. Rather he works under the supervision of the Speaker of Parliament, and he can be disciplined by the Speaker for misbehaving. And the current Speaker, until a new one is chosen, is the Honourable SBB Dumbuya. And this Speaker can suspend the Clerk.
This is because this Clerk has been misbehaving- he sent out without authorization, and against the law, notices postponing the opening of parliament. And he has threatened to refuse the participation of members of parliamentary proceedings including that of the election of the speaker. The clerk has also arrogated unto himself the right to prevent MPs from taking the oath as MPs. But the law is clear on this:
88. There shall preside at any sitting of Parliament—
a. the Speaker; or
b. in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker; or
c. in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, such Member of Parliament as may be elected for that purpose
So in essence the clerk has no powers to determine who takes oath or not.
For these contravention, the Clerk must be suspended so as to send a clear message as to where the buck stops in Parliament.
©️Forward Ever Media
“To whom brain is given, sense is expected”. Our elected officials should stop being a disgrace to Mama Salone. Our judges on the other hand should know that without them being impartial, Salone is doom to fail. It is their duty to make sure each side’s rights are preserved, and a judge who is not neutral is unable to do so. It is vitally important in our democracy that individual judges and the judiciary as a whole are impartial and independent of all external pressures and of each other so that those who appear before them and the wider public can have confidence that their cases will be decided fairly and in accordance with the law. We expect our judges to be free of any improper influence. Hpw on earth u go yeri wan man in yone case en refuse for yeri di other man in yone case??? Salone na movie.
WHERE IS SIERRA LEONE IS HEADING
The Uganda mentality takes hold in the political firmament of the nation as supposed law makers resorts to the logic of lawlessness,chaos,and anarchy unimaginable.
God where is mama Sierra Leone headed?
What a terrible spectacle to watch in the innermost sanctuary of where the nation’s supreme law is supposed to be sacredly protected if we are going to be seem and said to be a nation deeply anchored on the fundamental edifice of the rule of law as the very basis for the existence of the sovereign nation of Sierra Leone.
Never in the political history of the nation have we seen such display of incivility by people citizens expects to hold candlelight before them.
*The president does not have the power to convene parliament in this case. The president can only do so for special purposes*.
*The sacking of the former VP Sam Sumana and the Call by the president for the clerk to convene parliament are both equal breaches of the constitution*
– *_Dr Abdulai O. Conteh*
One of the Architects of the 1991 constitution
“The Judiciary have to be careful, because reckless interpretation of the Law can put us into a war,”
Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella said in Parliament today.
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! The judiciary must step up…selective service of justice is unacceptable and unjustifiable! Granted that APC’s hands are not clean (n e fiba hakeh baing) but the Court is a place of redress for sinners and saints alike. The courts should not permit its corridors to be used for political motives. SLPP should demonstrate sincere commitment to their message of New Direction…it must not be business as usual. To continue like this is to keep the judiciary in its rags. This cycle can and must be starved! JUSTICE MUST NOT APPEAR TO BE FOR THE RULING PARTY ONLY!
The lawlessness of our country’s politician(s), political supporter(s) and citizens has been astounding.
And If this is allowed, we’re far along the path to banana republic status.
Can anything be done to stop it?
No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.
The SLPP Is Slowly Becoming More Illegitimate, and the Seeds of Great Conflict
The SLPP presidency is being questioned in the Supreme Court by Petitions filed by the leadership of the APC, including Dr Samura Kamara, Deputy Leader Hon. Minkailu Mansaray and Secretary General, Ambassador Osman Foday. Yansaneh. A private citizen, Dr Sylvia also has a petition questioning the election of the President.
Now the legitimacy of another arm of government, parliament is also being questioned by citizens. This is because of the brazen way the SLPP and the judiciary are behaving to deprive the party with the majority party in parliament, APC of its numbers in parliament. Already the SLPP has filed in the Western Area alone, 21 Petitions. As we write, 16 injunctions have been granted against APC MPs in the Western Area and two in the northern province. The latest petition being filed for an injunction in the Western Area is against Hajaratu Bangura. ‘“A disenfranchising of the voter’s preferred choice in 80% of constituencies in the capital city is a great recipe for chaos”, a political scientist opined. “Widespread disaffection in a capital city could easily bring governments down or create all sorts of problems for law, order and stability.”
The way these petitions are being surreptitiously file ex parte, without even allowing for lawyers for the APC to make an appearance, is already creating waves of illegitimacy for the institutions involved. The injunction as everybody knows are to prevent the APC from fully participating in the election of the Speaker of Parliament. This will definitely throw the legitimacy of parliament into question. Also, the judiciary by the way it has handled the issue is also compromising its legitimacy. For instance, today in Kenema, the judge there refused to hear APC’s application because he said he has high blood pressure. Yesterday in Freetown the judge, Justice DB Edwards heard 11 SLPP petitions but refused to hear Three APC petitions because he said was tired. Justice Alusine Seaay also heard and slammed 5 injunctions against APC MPs but he could not sit on matters brought by the APC. In Bo where the APC also filed, Judge Stevens could not address the case.
Already the APC has condemned the state of affairs as has also Kandeh Yumkella of the NGC, and also Hon David Bai Conteh, Vice Presidential Candidate of the C4C. Even the legality of the Presidential Proclamation for Parliament to convene on Wednesday, April 25 is being questioned by Legal Luminary Dr Abdulai Conteh. Lack of legitimacy creates great conditions for violent conflict and troubles in the country, several political leaders have contended. Sierra Leone may be going down a very slippery path.
©️Forward Ever Media
We are definitely heading for a torrid time in the Fifth Parliament and Members should start practicing consensus politics by making the right choice for the Speaker and his/her Deputy. VICTOR AKO MENGOT