Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 May 2018:
It is over a week since the elected MPs of the opposition APC walked out of parliament, after their dramatic display of disobedience and disruption of parliamentary proceedings. The APC lost the presidential election held in March 2018, but won majority of the parliamentary seats.
And it seems there is no end in sight to the political impasse, as the APC MPs are refusing to return to parliament to take their oath.
A delegation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament is in Sierra Leone trying to find an amicable resolution to the conflict, between the ruling SLPP and the opposition APC.
The delegation has held talks with stakeholders, the Speaker and Clerk of Parliament, and leaders of the two political parties.
Yesterday, they met with president Julius Maada Bio at State House. He assured the ECOWAS delegation of his total commitment to maintaining peace and democracy in Sierra Leone.
Bio said that his government is concerned about the ongoing impasse at the Sierra Leone Houses of Parliament, adding that he is determined to return parliament to normalcy by working in line with the laws of the land.
President Bio also thanked the ECOWAS Parliament for their mediation efforts at the just concluded general elections, as well as their timely intervention in helping to solve the current problem in the Houses of Parliament.
Vice Chairman of the Administration, Finance, Budget Control & Audit Committee of the ECOWAS Parliament the Rt. Hon. Edwin Melvin Snowe, Jr. on behalf of the West African Parliament congratulated President Bio on his victory.
He said that the ECOWAS Parliament has been monitoring proceedings in Sierra Leone up till the swearing in of President Bio. Hon Snowe also used the opportunity to pledge the ECOWAS Parliament’s support for Sierra Leone, especially in safeguarding and maintaining the nation’s democratic values.
But there is confusion as to why the opposition APC are still refusing to take up their seats in parliament. Speaking on local radio this week, this is what the Clerk of Parliament Mr. Paran Tarawalie said: