Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 May 2021:
President Julius Maada Bio will today address members of parliament in the Chamber of Parliament to mark the start of the Fourth Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone.
This is in accordance with Section 84 (3) of Act No. 6 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone which provides that the President is required by law at the beginning of each session to present an address to Parliament on the State of the Nation, including his legislative agenda, articulating his policies and programmes that have been implemented, or those that will be implemented for the realization of his manifesto promises contained in the ruling SLPP party manifesto, otherwise known as the “New Direction”.
According to parliamentary officials, today’s session is being held in the chambers of parliament despite the huge renovation and construction work that is ongoing in the precincts of Parliament, because President Bio has insisted that the State Opening of Parliament should take place in its traditional home rather than moved to another site.
Invitations for today’s bog event in Sierra Leone’s political calendar have been sent to Government Officials, Diplomatic Community and the Press. Invitees are requested to wear face masks in adherence to the COVID-19 protocols.
President Bio will inspect a guard of honour before taking his seat in the Chamber. The Clerk of Parliament will read the proclamation and President Bio will address the Representatives of the people on the State of the Nation, which is expected to be dominated by his government’s Free Quality Education, the state of the economy, government’s investments in key economic sectors – such as agriculture, as well as the resumption of the mining sector.
Following the president’s address, the Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu will adjourn Parliament, and the Address by President Bio will be debated by MPs in the presence of heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies responsible for the implementation of the policies and programmes of the Government of Sierra Leone.
The opposition political parties in parliament – APC, C4C and NGC are expected to mount fierce criticism of the government’s performance and policies today.