State Of Emergency Lifted

 

By Aruna Rashed Toma Bangura

Honourable Members of Parliament have on Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, during their second session in Parliament revoked the State of Emergency on rape and also approved the nine new members of Parliament who took oath recently in the well following an election petition Judgement by the High Court of Sierra Leone.

The Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Hon. Sidi Mohamed Tunis revoked the State of Emergency on rape and sexual violence in tandem to Section 29(13) of the constitution of Sierra Leone, Act No. 6 of 1991.

“I moved that the Honourable House revoke the declaration of the State of Emergency regarding rape and sexual violence made by His Excellency, Rtd. Brig. Dr. Julius Maada Bio on 19th February, 2019 and ratified on the 22nd February 2019, he concluded.

In another development, the Deputy Chief Whip in Parliament, Hassan A. Sesay alias Tanemkok told the Speaker and colleague MPs that they in the main opposition party (APC) did not recognize the newly sworn MPs, as according to him, if the High Court declared seats of elected candidate vacant, it also is clearly stated that they should remain vacant for fourteen days.

He furthered that the affected MPs have received receipts of their notice of appeal they filed in the Appeals Court, adding that they the sanctity and sanity of the law must be maintained.

Hon. Hassan A. Sesay stated that the selected MPs should not be in their midst, adding that the High Court ruling is still under court consideration and that they are waiting for the judgement of the Appeals Court which is second highest court in the land.

“Let us don’t be law breakers because when we are supposed to be lawmakers,” he stated.

Hon. Daniel Brima Koroma of the main opposition party (APC) said the swearing in of the new MPs was illegal, adding that the decision of Parliament is an affront to the superior court of Judicature.

He said during the notice of appeal, the seat shall remain vacant, adding that Section 146(1) of the Public Elections Act has not been complied with.

Also, Hon. Abdul Kargbo of APC said that the Fifth Parliament of Sierra Leone is setting a precedent that will not only affect today but future generation, adding that he could not take part in the debate as, according to him,  the new MPs are strangers in their midst.

In response, the Speaker, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu ruled that Section 146(1) of Public Elections Act does not apply but only encourages the situation.

He said the High Court went did not only  declare the affected MPs seats vacant but went further to declare the runners-up occupants of  the seats, adding that the House only complied with the dictates of the High Court.

This was corroborated by the Leader of Government Business who said the House received the High Court and acted in accordance with its ruling.

He however stated that the affected persons have the right to appeal and if they feel aggrieved must seek redress at the Appeals Court.