By Musa Kamara
Reading through the proposed Public Election Act 2022 that has been tabled in Parliament, it is clear that the Executive Arm of Government, through the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) and the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice have clearly manifested their commitment to expunge the law that bars dual citizens from contesting as Members of Parliament.
The 2022 Public Election Act sighted the landmark Supreme Court ruling between David Forna and Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, NEC and others (2018), the ruling stated that, “Persons with Dual Citizenship are eligible to contest Parliamentary but not Presidential Elections.”
According to the Act, the Electoral Commission agreed to amend this subsection to provide for Dual Citizens to be eligible for Parliamentary but not Presidential Elections.
The Act therefore called on MPs to “review and amend the section to provide for persons with ‘Dual Citizenship’ to contest Parliamentary, but not Presidential Elections.”
It is clear that the Executive Arm of Government has manifested their quest to allow our brothers and sisters living in the diaspora, who have been contributing to the growth and sustenance of the country’s economy to come home and meaningfully contribute to the country’s political space.
It is now left with Parliament to do the needful by allowing Sierra Leoneans living overseas to fully participate in our politicking.
Members of Parliament should show the same commitment that the executive arm has already shown in order to allow dual citizens to be elected as MPs and have the right to vote from overseas.