Mohamed Bangura Challenges APC’s Position of Boycotting Parliamentary Sitting

By Abubakarr Harding

It was indeed a very interesting gathering during the First Sitting in the Well of the Sierra Leone Parliament, on the 13th July, 2023,   as the newly elected Members of Parliament assembled to subscribe to the Oath of Office as it is constitutionally stipulated.

The first parliamentary sitting or assembly was indeed a very interesting sight as it was primarily dominated by a majority of  newly elected SLPP Members of Parliament with the exceptional presence of  the  APC re-elected Member of Parliament for Karene District, Mohamed Bangura, who was conspicuously the only elected Member of Parliament of  the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Party that was in attendance. It must be noted that the presence of Members of Parliament to subscribe to the Oath marked the very beginning of the Sixth Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Mohamed Bangura’s attendance of Parliament came as no big surprise to many as earlier in the day  when he was hosted  on the  “Wake Up Salone”  AYV Television programme he categorically and emphatically stated  that he will be in Parliament to take the Oath of office.

However, the action of Hon. Mohamed Bangura has led some to describe him as a party traitor but meanwhile, the Leadership of APC Party is yet to make an official statement on the action of Mohamed Bangura.

Prior to  the newly elected Members of Parliament being called upon  by the Clear of Parliament ,Umar Paran Tarawally, ,to subscribe to the oath of office, he  provided an update on the opening of the Sixth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone during which he clarified the distinction between the First Sitting and the State Opening of Parliament.

He pointed out that the first sitting was scheduled to commence on July 13, 2023, while the date for the State Opening of Parliament will be announced later further underscoring how  the State Opening is the official start of Parliament, during which the President delivers the State of the Nation Address saying  the event will occur on a separate date.

The Clerk of Parliament  pointed out that ,on the other hand, the first sitting signifies when the Sixth Parliament will dissolve, which will take place between July 13, 2023, and July 13, 2028, marking a complete five-year term.

Tarawally emphasized that the oath is mandatory for all MPs also adding that failure to attend the oath-taking process on the designated date will result in being classified as a Contractual MP rather than a Terminal MP and  thereby losing certain benefits as well as opportunities provided to Terminal MPs.

He stressed that while an MP can take the oath at a later time, missing the initial date will disqualify him or her from being considered a Terminal MP, serving the full five-year tenure.

Paran Tarawally further highlighted that if members of the APC (All People’s Congress) boycott the sitting and refuse to take the oath on July 13, 2023, there will only be 95 terminal MPs maintaining how that would impact the benefits, gratitude and pensions they receive at the end of the five-year mandate.

He concluded by stating that any MP who refuses to take the oath without valid reasons may face financial and legal consequences.


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