As Bio Appoints Prime Minister/Chief Minister VP Jalloh Stripped Naked
The leader and chairman of the opposition Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), Mr. Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray has told Sierra Express Media in an exclusive interview that the appointment of “Chief Minister” by the ruling SLPP , “is unconstitutional” and furthermore, “it has the tendency to undermine the functions and esteem of the Vice-President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh”. (Photo: VP Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh)
He made this startling disclosure yesterday Tuesday May 1st 2018 whilst deliberating on the second set of Cabinet Ministerial appointments by H.E. Bio in which Bio named one Professor David J. Francis as the new Chief Minister for the Republic of Sierra Leone.
“There is no provision in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone that makes mention of a ministerial title known as Chief Minister” Kamarainba said, adding that anything referring to something higher than a Minister within Executive arm, is referring to either the Honourable Vice-President or the President.
The ADP opposition leader said “Chief in Executive arm of government, refers to the president” so for him, he says “technically, ‘Chief Minister’ constitutionally refers to the President himself and in absence of President, VP Dr. Juldeh Jalloh is the Chief Minister”.
He went further to say that it is the responsibility of President Julius Maada Bio to oversee the functions of the Ministers and in the absence of the president out of the country, then most likely the “Chief Minister” will supervise the ministers and when that happens, the Hon. vice-president Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh’s position will automatically become redundant.
“You cannot have a Chief Minister and a Vice-President. They both cannot co-exist,” said Mr. Kamarainba Mansaray.
He therefore urged President Julius Maada Bio to reverse the appointment of Professor Francis as “Chief Minister” and to now work in the interest of the people who have already elected their preferred Vice-President. He said this is because Bio “cannot have a Chief Minister in the presence of a Vice- President whom the people have already elected to be the man next to the President”.
Kamarainba said the current administration of the ruling SLPP party of President Bio is in a complete constitutional mess with no regard for what the Constitution says. He said he cannot describe the current dispensation better than Honorable Dr. Kandeh Yumkella who recently described the country as being under a “Junta Democracy”.
Kamarainba warned President Julius Maada Bio not to continue to act as if he is ignorant of the provisions set out in the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone as he took Oath to protect the Constitution.
The Secretary General of the SLPP is himself a lawyer called Umaru Napoleon Koroma Esq. He told this newspaper that he will only comment if Kamarainba states the specific clauses in Constitution which have been breached.
However, the announcement of Chief Minister has sparked instant debate on social media and other gatherings with much condemnation for Bio.
Many likened the position to that of the erstwhile NPRC military junta of Bio in which they had a Dr. Gibril as Chief Minister.
President Bio himself simultaneously used to be both Chief Minister and Vice-president (Deputy Head of State) when Strasser was President (Head of State) under their military regime. Bio had simultaneously served as Chief Minister and Vice-President from June 1993 until April 1995 when he left the Cabinet to head the Army. So many wonder why, with the sudden need for a Chief Minister, has Bio not made his own Vice-President to as well be his Chief Minister but has brought in someone else? They say it completely undermines the Honourable Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, who is also very competent in governance matters; if not even more competent than Professor David Francis.
The other concern is that the post itself is against the Constitution. The NPRC military junta of Bio was itself unconstitutional so not bound by the constitution unlike the current democratic and constitutional dispensation by which Bio should follow and obey the Constitution.
As we went to press, we received a Statement from State House on this very topical issue. It defends the decision of President Bio and states what the Terms of Reference are for the Chief Minister.
That statement is published in this edition.
_*OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY*_
_*Date: 1st May 2018*_
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