Over Speakership… Fresh Battle For SLPP, APC

 

The commencement of the Fifth Parliament of the Third Republic will witness the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), yet again, battling for Speaker of the Legislative House of Parliament.

Referring to the Constitutional provision on the election of Speakers, the Clerk of Parliament Hon. Ibrahim S. Sesay quoted Section 79 of the 1991 Constitution which states that voting needs to be done thrice until a candidate gets two-third majority to become a Speaker.

“If a candidate cannot get the legislated vote in the three elections, the forth will be by simple majority”, said the Clerk of Parliament, adding that the Deputy Speakership is won by a simple majority.

The Clerk continued that in 2013, there was a constitutional amendment to the Section which states that if you want to be Speaker from outside parliament you must have served as a member for 10 years and must have attained the age of 40 years but for sitting members that want to contest, the candidate must have served for a period of one term.

Another change that was done in respect of the Deputy Speaker, he said, was that before now they were elected for every session but that they are now elected along the same timeframe of the Speaker for five years.

As it stands now, for SLPP to have  two-third of the total votes to grab the speakership position and subsequently have control over parliament as the ruling party it needs an addition of fifty Ordinary Members of Parliament (OMP) while the APC needs an additional thirty OMPs to grab the speakership.