Following continued debates in the House on the constitutional/statutory instruments Nos. 43 and 46 of 2017, tabled by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Wednesday 05th April 2017 unanimously voted for the withdrawal of the two constitutional/statutory instruments.
The two constitutional/statutory instruments dealing with ward and constituency boundary delimitations were described by MPs on both sides of the aisle as “not being properly before the House and should therefore be expunged from its books or records”.
Prior to his ruling, the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament said that since the Chief Electoral Commissioner of NEC, N’fah Alie Conteh had admitted procedural and constitutional breaches and that Parliament is right for raising legitimate concerns, “the House is therefore constrained to allow or validate the instruments”.
Commenting after consultations with NEC, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph F. Kamara offered two options regarding the validation of the two instruments. Both options were rejected by Parliament as it was made very clear by the MPs that “they do not have the power to amend constitutional/statutory instruments”.
As such, leaving the constitutional/statutory instruments to mature will be of no use and amending it afterwards would be impossible.
Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Leonard Fofanah said that “Parliament had earlier accepted and agreed to expunge the two instruments referred above are not properly before the House”. He also said that “the motion was moved in good faith”.
Acting Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ansumana J. Kaikai concurred with the Majority Leader saying that “the two documents should be expunged and revisited to conform with provisions of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
Had it not been for the withdrawal of the said statutory instruments by votes in Parliament, they would have become law on the 06th April, 2017, as per dictates of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, which MPs had taken oath to defend at all times.
Department of Public Relations
Parliament of Sierra Leone
Source: Sky news