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Sierra Leone Parliament Disapproves Bio’s Public Emergency Proclamation

Sierra Leone Parliament Disapproves Bio’s Public Emergency Proclamation

The Member of Parliament for Constituency 63, Karina District, Hon. Ibrahim Kamara has informed the well of Parliament that they as a main opposition political party, All Peoples Congress (APC) wish to inform members of the party, international community and the country at large that the Sierra Leone House of Parliament has not approved His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio’s State of Public Emergency proclamation.  (Photo: President Julius Maada Bio)

Responding to an exclusive interview with Sierra Express Media, the law maker argued that section 29 (3) of the 1991 Constitution provides that such a proclamation must be approved by a vote of two-thirds of Member of Parliament present.

He pointed out that, Parliament sittings was abruptly adjourned to 26th February without vote being taken as prescribed by the constitution and the standing orders.

While they applauded President Bio in his determination to combat sexual crimes, the legislator said it is the legislative competence of Parliament to make laws for good governance. He said they as APC Members of Parliament have made their position abruptly clear in the well of Parliament that they support the fight against rape and all forms of sexual violence against women and girls.

He discussed that a State of Emergency may be declared by the President only when the country is at war or actual breakout of a disease to enhance the safety of the people.

The MP entreated listeners that the debate for the approval of the said proclamation was inconclusive hence, he said, a public state of emergency does not exist. He concluded that the debate on the proclamation is to continue on the next sitting of Parliament.

Hon. Ibrahim Kamara further argued that Sierra Leone is not among the ten highest burden cases of rape and sexual violence against women and girls. He said India is on top of the list but never declare a state of emergency why Sierra Leone?

He said as far as sexual offence matters are concerned, flaws needed to be address.

He emphasized that, the Speaker of Parliament used voice collection with the motive that provision will be for election. Hon. Ibrahim Kamara explained that in his wisdom, the speaker postponed the parliament and surprisingly a certificate of approval was immediately presented to HE Bio that the Sierra Leone House of Parliament has approved the Public State of Emergency, a process he described as totally wrong.

The people’s representative said, the vote and proceeding document clearly stated that the discussion held on the 22nd February was not completed but why they go ahead and presented a certificate of completion to President Bio? The learned legislator queried and stressed that the procedure of Parliament must be followed.

He told learned colleagues that the APC does not recognize or approve the state of emergency and assured that, there would be no more use of force in Parliament because he said, they are not going to support anything bad for the country. He said this state of emergency must be placed back in Parliament for further discussion.

He concluded by stressing that they as vibrant Members of Parliament will not approve anything brought in Parliament by the ruling SLPP until the State of Emergency issue addressed.

By Amira Tatayea Bangura

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