By Abubakarr Harding
Parliament has on Tuesday 9th August 2022 debated the bill entitled “The Constitution of Sierra Leone (Amendment) Act, 2022”, for the democratic governance of Sierra Leone.
The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991(Act No.6 of 1991), to rename the “Political Parties Registration Commission”, to replace the Administrator and Register General with the Executive Secretary as Secretary to the Commission, and to provide for other related matters.
Presenting the bill, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mohamed Lamin Tarawally said the document intended to amend the constitution in several ways. According to him Subsection (1) of Section 34 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991, (Act NO. 6 of 1991) is to be amended by repealing and replacing as follows.
There shall be a Political Parties Registration Commission which shall consist of 5 members appointed by the President, and he stated the various positions.
Also, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, said the bill intended to amend Subsection (3) 34 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991 (Act No. 6 of 1991), by repealing and replacing that subsection as follow: That the Executive Secretary shall be the Secretary to the Commission.
The Minister further informed that Section 35 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991(Act No. 6 of 1991) was proposed for amendment in several ways.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice informed Parliament that, the Commission would operate with independent powers and all documents relating to the administration would be properly audited.
Contributing to the debate, Hon. Daniel Koroma referred to the memorandum and object in light of the change of name adding that, let the name reflects its function and informed that, the document is not contentious. Secondly, he spoke about administrative convenience and that it was not contentious. He also raised questions on page numbering on the bill. He expressed that, there was no reason to delay the bill.
Chairman Legislative Committee, Hon. Abdul S. Marray Conteh said the Bill is proposing structural changes and informed the House that it was timely to give the institution regulatory and administrative functions. He appealed to colleague MPs to speedily pass the bill into law.
Hon. Abdul Kargbo said they would support a bill that may come to empower the institution. The MP expressed that, the institution should do more and the Executive Secretary should be given the prerequisites to operate. He also said that the bill is not contentious. “I want this House to expeditiously pass this bill into law,” he stated.
Leader of NGC, Hon. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella thanked PPRC for the positive consultation on the bill and recalled some of the activities. He heaped praises on PPRC and team. He expressed that, the bill, when passed into law would touch the political life of every Member of Parliament.
Leader of C4C, Hon.Saa Emerson Lamina said the bill is not contentious and is an eye-opener. He informed Parliament that, with the document, the Commission would do well
Leader of Opposition, Hon. Chernor R.M. Bah supported the position of previous speakers, in light of commendations for the Political Parties Registration Commission and further scrutiny of the document. The MP said issues in the document are not contentious, but expressed hope that, when they get to the Committee Stage, they would do the needful.
Acting Leader of Government Business, Hon. Bashiru Silikie thanked all Members of Parliament for their contributions and informed the House that the bill is a way forward for the democracy of the country. He noted that the bill is empowering the PPRC and the democratic process.