Democracy | Rule of Law
*Citizens Advocacy Network*
23278246328 | 23278102030
_48 Siaka Stevens Street_
_Freetown | Sierra Leone_
23rd April, 2018.
Re: *Disruption of the Reopening of the Fifth Parliament in the Second Republic: A Cause For Concern.*
The Citizens Advocacy Network (hereinafter referred to as CAN) is greatly disturbed by the “opera of petitioning” that has punctuated our governance temperature; in the wake of urgent expectations to press the progress button after a delayed and snail-like electioneering process.
We note with the highest concern that the flurry of petitions and counter petitions that have flooded our courts have the proclivity to negatively disrupt the reopening and commencement of the country’s Fifth Parliament in the Second Republic, and undermine the representative and oversight functions that Parliament should be seen performing (as enshrined in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, Act No. 6).
While we decry the alleged unconstitutional and foul means of acquiring power, we equally pray our good Parliament to resist the temptation of using state institutions as a circus of scoring political points. Politics is over and we need all hands on deck to push the nation forward.
Just as the need for Parliament to start its operations cannot be overemphasized, so too can any disruption to its reopening or official business have adverse or far-reaching implications on governance and respect for the will of the people.
With a new Government in place, Parliament is with sheer exigency needed to swing into full operation to complement the efforts of the executive by way of endorsing or approving presidential nominees at different levels and to push the business of the state forward.
As it is, this ugly development has caused a serious setback to this process. In view of this, CAN is urging all those involved to put aside their partisan interests and to not only put the progress of the country first, but to desist from sacrificing the urgent business of governance on the altar of primordial party considerations. CAN in its estimation, considers Parliament as the repository of the people’s power and will, and that any attempt to toy or play petty politics with it, will be a direct attack on the will of the people.
Against this backdrop, and as a promoter or champion of the cause of the people, CAN would like to once more register its utter shock at these developments.
The organization nonetheless, conscientiously appeals to the judiciary to hold the scale of justice in a balanced manner so as to foster the rule of law and the independence of the Judiciary.
Finally, CAN would like to draw the attention of all parties to their sacred duties to serve the people through these distinct but mutually interdependent organs of government. The people have spoken and their voices must never be treated with disdain. The process of charting a brighter path for them should not be delayed all in the name of petty political rivalry and points scoring. Time, is of the essence!
Long Live Sierra Leone!
Long Live CAN!
Thomas Moore Conteh
Ag. Executive Director