Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 04 June 2021:
No single political party in Sierra Leone has a majority in parlaiment. The current make up of the country’s parliament is as follows:
APC – 58 Members
SLPP – 58 Members
C4C – 8 Members
NGC – 4 Members
Independent – 3 Members
No political party has a majority as of yesterday, June 3rd 2021 when the National Electoral Commission declared that SLPP’s Hon. Member of Parliament representing Tonkolili Constituency 056, is now the newly elected Paramount Chief of Sambaia Chiefdom.
Sierra Leone’s CONSTITUTION very clearly states that there cannot be two Paramount Chiefs from the same District sitting in Parliament.
Section 74(1)(a) says only one Paramount Chief Member of Parliament (PCMP) per district. Tonkolili already has Hon. Bai Kurr as PCMP.
Furthermore, Section 77(1)(f) is sacrosanct. The moment an Ordinary Member of Parliament becomes a Paramount Chief, his seat as an MP is to be immediately vacated.
Hence, any attempt to allow Hon. Musa Jalloh of the SLPP to continue to sit in Parliament after June 3rd 2021 is unconstitutional.
I think is high time members of the elected smaller opposition parties, start to use their electoral advantages, by working together with any of the two major parties SLPP/APC in Parliament, to improve the way our parliamentary democracy works.The smaller parties in Sierra Leone have always received less press coverage. Which has impacted on their standing in the country. To certain extent, in some parts of country, if you ask some voters to name the political partis in Sierra Leone, the only answers they will come up with, is APC and SLPP. The reality of course we need this smaller parties to improve the checks and balances of the governmen. You don’t have to be antagonist against the ruling SLPP party, just because they happens to be in power. You work with them, because you think their policy agenda is good for the country. On the other hand, if their policy agenda is not good for the country, you oppose them by joing the APC party.
You can support them on certain legislation that you tend to agree with Especially when it comes to policies that goes against your political manifestos. I have always favoured this Isreali type of parliamentary democracy, where no major political parties have an overall majority in Parliament. Quiet litrary, if you want to pass any legislation, the biggest parties in Parliament have to enter into horse trading to achieve their legislative agendas. In exircising your opposition to some of the governments agenda, you have to act constructively, and pointing out your policy agreements, debate them, and if needs be vote against any government proposals that you think is detrimental to the national development of our country. Now with the two major parties evenly representated Parliament, 58 to 58, it has created an opportunity for smaller to excel.
The leadership of C4C, NGC and Independent smaller parties should now use this opportunity to build a platform, and show the Sierra Leonean voting public what they have to offer. In terms of policy differences, and coming up with constructive and attractive economic and social policies that will make your parties more attractive to the average voter. With both parties locked on tiebreak in terms of majority carrys the vote, now any one of this parties can swing both ways to be the deciding vote. Now this smaller parties have been given a Golden opportunity to show us what they can do differently to improve the quality of life of the ordinary man and woman in Sierra Leone.