Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 January 2023:
The Supreme Court of Sierra Leone will deliver judgment tomorrow Friday morning, in a lawsuit brought by lawyers acting for the main opposition APC party last month, against the government’s decision to change the country’s electoral laws that will replace the constituency based – first past the post system for proportional representation.
Elections are due in Sierra Leone in just under five months, and critics say that changing the electoral system now will give significant advantage to the ruling SLPP at the elections.
Both SLPP and the main opposition have the same number of MPs in parliament, and president Bio is being accused of trying to forge his way into winning a second term in office by changing the electoral system.
But the government argues that the changes brought in by the new electoral laws are already enshrined in the country’s 1991 Constitution.
Tomorrow morning, the highest court in the land – the Supreme Court will decide.
Now is the time to stand up and be counted .The last time our judiciary was put through the smell test for it’s independence , and free from government control or interference was the trial and acquittal of Rt Major Alfred P Conteh on treason charges, and the subsequent acquital of Dr Slyvia Bylden on a botched trial everyone suspected was directed and driven by the president and his wife Mrs Bio that was hell bent to use the courts to settled a score with her over a Facebook posting allegedly made by Dr Bylden that according to the particulars of the court charges were less than generous towards the person of Bio the president . As for Mr Conteh who was allegedly carrying a pistol at the invitation of Bio and wanted to take the presudent out .I never believed it nor did the judges that sat in that case bought in to the conspiracy theories and lies .
We were all happy when he was acquitted back then ,because it was the first time a so called a treason trial was held and the accused walked out of the courtroom FREE and cleared of all charges .Once again as our supreme court justices sits in judgement over the question of whether the president have over step his powers to change the constitutional order over our voting system from first past the post to proportional representation all eyes are on them to see if they can do the right thing for our country and its people .Had Bio attempted these PR changes in his first two years, and after a wide voter consultation , and in agreement with the opposition parties, and civil society groups ,and organised a referendum on the issue he felt is urgent and needs addressing , then we can say his democratic credentials are beyond reproach . It feels like Bio is doing everything with his powers to undrrmine our democracy .It like everything Bio does , his case for the changes he proposed is at worse shrouded in mystery , and with no public or TV appearance by Bio to sell his PR idea to the general public which left us all none the wiser. And it gets more trickire both for the president and our learned judges that have the enviable task of making a judgment on elections changes in an election year.
The sun is setting on Bio’s first term .The last thing he wants to leave as his legacy apart from everything else that have gone on under his watch , the killing of youths and prisoners at Pademba Road prison , is to plunge our country in to constitutional crises .what we need to hear from Boi , is what is he going to do different from what he have done to the country in the last four years .We don’t want political gimmicks or public relation exircise .
The duty of every government is first and foremost, to provide security .Also to make their people happy .Bio have failed on both counts. And he is complicit in creating a sense of uncertainty .If the judges that are sitting on this case puts their independent wigs on , they should stuck down Bio’s attempt to high jack our constitution .When it comes to constitutional matters the judiciary is the last arm of government that is there to protect it from abuse by the legislature and executive arm of government .And I hope the judges in this case will use their powers of reasoning and ask the question every right minded Sierra Leonean wants to ask Bio why now and not later? If a system is not broken why fix it? I think if the judges were to take such a view with those questions in mind , I think they will disappoint Bio and his acolyte
The president is not trying to forge his way out for his victory comes 2023 presidential elections no, that is not true folks. He already won his second term, we all know in his five years, what he has done for the country. APC has just began their crying foul. I told you long ago that, without choosing the right man, Bio is the next period. Sierra Leone is for everybody not only for one tribe. Samura Kamara is unfit.