Sierra Leone MPs return to parliament tomorrow amid serious political row

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 1 October 2018:

The Clerk of Parliament  – Paran Tarawallie, whose controversial appearance alongside ruling party protesters in New York last week had prompted questions about his neutrality and impartiality in the conduct of his duties in parliament, has today announced that the country’s elected MPs will return to parliament tomorrow, 2nd October 2018, after a recess.

MPs are expected to be greeted with a full agenda of government’s business, including the reading and debating of the proposed Bill introducing the formation of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate corruption in high office, during the ten-year rule of the APC government of president Koroma.

The opposition APC have condemned the Bill and the legislative procedure adopted by the ruling SLPP to usher the Bill into the statute books. (Photo: Paran Tarawallie).

But after strong public protest by leaders of the APC, it seems the government has acceded to calls for a full debate and a vote in the House.

And it’s a vote the opposition APC say they will win, given their majority in parliament.

Also likely to overshadow the reconvening of parliament tomorrow, is the ongoing row over the cancellation of Saturday’s polling in Kambia, the killing of a 14-year old boy during the election, and the police drugs raid which took place a few weeks ago in Mile 91 where another young man also died.

Also announced today is the assumption of the Acting Presidency of Sierra Leone by the Speaker of Parliament Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu.

Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu (Photo) by virtue of the power conferred by the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, will serve as Acting President with effect from today 1st October 2018, in the absence from the country of both president Julius Maada Bio and vice-president Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh.

According to Section 54 (6) of Act No. 6 of the Constitution: “Whenever the President and Vice-President are both for any reason unable to perform the functions of the President, the Speaker of Parliament shall perform those functions until the President or Vice-President is able to perform those functions, and shall take and subscribe the oath of office as set out in the Second Schedule before commencing to perform those functions”

Taking on the role of Acting President of Sierra Leone, does not preclude Dr Bundu from executing his duties as Speaker of the Parliament of Sierra Leone. And this is the first time that Dr. Bundu will take on the responsibility of Acting President of Sierra Leone, since he was elected as Speaker of Parliament on the 25th April 2018.

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