Democracy In Crisis… APC Stages Another Walkout In Parliament

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That there is something fundamentally flawed in the relationship between the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party and the main opposition All Peoples’ Congress is becoming all the more glaring as the APC has again staged a walkout from parliament during the official opening of the 2nd session of the 5th Parliament by President Bio pursuant to the constitutional provisions.
When The Calabash asked one of the APC Members of Parliament, the reason for their walkout, he said they are tired and fed up with being bullied by the President and his government. Observers saw the APC MPs walking in the vicinity of Parliament with protesting placards in their hands.
Asked to elaborate, he said that as partners in governance with the ruling party, as well as the other political parties in parliament, the APC, he said, believes that the President and his government do not listen to the opposition, but have since the election of the speaker of parliament, rode roughshod over them.
“We cannot go on this way,” the disgruntled APC MP said, adding that in a democracy, the voice of the opposition must be heard by the government, especially when that opposition has the majority in parliament.
He furthered that both the President and NEC have so far failed to listen to their party’s demand for the NEC Chief Commissioner to resign, citing his alleged woeful conduct of the Kambia district council bye-election in Tonko Limba, which he said does not give APC trust and confidence in the current NEC leadership to conduct free, fair, transparent elections.
Whilst a good proportion of the population sympathizes with the APC, others have said that APC must understand that existing political tensions in the country cannot be resolved by staging walkouts from parliament every now and then. This they say, gives the ruling party a free hand to do just what it wants; as happened in the case of the election of the speaker and his deputy last year; as well as passing into law of the emergency Act.
“Boycott is not the way to solve problems and to express different opinions,” one Sierra Leonean living in UK said about the latest APC walkout from parliament.
“We understand APC’s struggle to enforce democratic values in the governance system,” the Sierra Leonean in London said, “we sense that the ruling party is cracking down on the opposition; we understand APC’s mistrust in the President and his government, however running away from the battle is not the answer.”
“Let APC take their grievances to the people through involvement with civil society, the media and international partners,” suggested one sympathizer, adding that, “In Africa generally we know that the party in power always behaves like a tyrant, but with the involvement of the people, civil society and the media, the party in power can be reminded of its role, responsibilities and limitations; failing which the people can always express their grievance against the party in power at the ballot box.”

1 COMMENT

  1. There are doubts in my mind I do not know if anyone can help with answers

    1. Are these MP’s representing there entire constituencies which includes APC, NGC, SLPP , other parties and even those who did not vote like myself? Maybe they are only representing the APC supporters in their constituencies. But the salary that is used to pay them is from tax payers who cut across all parties and non voting ones.

    2. The job of the parliamentarian is legislative and can it be justified by actions like these ? If there are legitimate actions brought against them for which those laws used where created by parliamentarians or enacted by parliamentarians is it a smart decision to protest pending the outcome of the courts. Some of them are lawyers and can even pay for the best lawyers to represent them. Might even have a barrage of party lawyers to represent them.

    3. The protesting of the parliamentarians is an indication that the laws cannot protect them. The question is are they equally guilty for the acts/petitions that have been brought against them or are they not convinced the laws and judges will be just in their judgement?

    4. The view of the public on their actions has it been positive or negative? Protesting is not wrong but was this a protest or a sabotage of the very people who sent them to represent them ? Parliamentarians can protest to state house on any day just like they did on that day through the street of Freetown.

    5. If they walked out of parliament and claimed that the speaker was imposed on them. Working out when the president is reading his speech would also imply if any decision was taken on that day they were not present would be a voluntary cause not imposed. What if they had stayed and protested in parliament through out the president speech would it not have sent a stronger message.

    6. Is the whole democracy in crisis because one party chose to work out. There was NGC, C4C, Chiefs etc.

    Really we need a rethink. Sabotaging Maada Bio at this time is sabotaging the whole of Sierra Leone. Because when leaders end up making bad decisions the whole nation suffers. The mindset of people might slowly change from thinking that you were right to you are wrong.

    For some of us we started praying when Siaka Stevens was president, we prayed when J.S Momoh was president, we prayed when Valentine Strasser became head of state, we prayed even more when Maada Bio became head of state, we prayed when Tejan Kabba became president, we prayed the most when Johnny Paul became head of state, we prayed when Tejan Kabba returned, We prayed when Ernest was president and now we are praying when Maada Bio is now president. Because if anything goes wrong most people especially the politicians can make there way out. But not our ordinary people.

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