APC Damns SLPP’S High Court Ruling
The leadership of the majority party in the Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone, All Peoples Congress (APC) party has on Friday 14th June 2019 damned in its entirety the High Court verdicts of the procrastinated election petitions filed by the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) candidates. According to them, the High Court of Sierra Leone on Friday 31st May 2019 wrongfully evicted ten of their elected members from Parliament of Sierra Leone, adding that these wrongfully evicted MPs were representing over 500,000 people within the Western Area having pulled the highest number of valid votes in their various constituencies in the general elections held on the 7th March, 2018. This position was made in a press conference held at the Headquarters of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists in Freetown.
A press statement signed and issued to the press by leader of the APC in Parliament, Hon. Chernor Ramadan Maju Bah stated that “on that fateful day, we also witnessed the hasty and illegal swearing in as members of parliament persons who were not elected by their constituents to represent them in parliament”.
The APC leadership informs the public that while their confidence in the judiciary is at all-time low, they will continue to respect due process and the rule of law, adding that they are with the conviction that the learned judges erred in law and in fact in declaring their elections null and void and even acted outside their powers and usurped the powers of the electorate when they declared the runners-up as winners of the elections. “We find it preposterous to declare an election of a candidate void because the election was marred with electoral malpractices and in the same election declared the runner-up the winner. Such decisions have the potential not only to undermine the rule of law and democracy but a potential to create instability and wreak havoc in our nation”. The release stated.
The APC leadership also informed news men that as they are dissatisfied with the judgments of Friday 31st May 2019 in line with the provision of Section 78(3) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone which provides for an appeal at the Court of Appeal within 14 days after a High Court ruling, their party’s lawyers have on Tuesday 11th June 2019, filed ten (10) notices of appeal to the High Court of Appeal from all the decisions entered against their members by the High Court and that they have also served same on the Solicitors for the respondents.
On the swearing in of the 9 SLPP candidates in parliament on the 31st May 2019, they described the ceremony as illegal citing the provisions of Section 146 of the Public Elections Act 2012. Stating that they considered the swearing in conducted by Clerk of Parliament on the aforesaid date as illegal and a flagrant violation of the entirety of the provisions of Section 146 of the Public Elections Act 2012 and therefore call on the Speaker of Parliament to do what is honorable and protect the sanctity of Parliament by rejecting strangers illegally sworn in as members parliament from occupying parliamentary seats or taking part in parliamentary proceedings.
By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara
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