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Appealing for more chances for Sierra Leone women in politics; Vice President Juldeh Calls for Propositional Representation

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Appealing for more chances for Sierra Leone women in politics; Vice President Juldeh Calls for Propositional Representation

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VP Juldeh Jalloh was speaking during the first ever state opening of parliament held in the precinct of parliament. He reechoed the fact that the constituency system does not favour an increased gender representation in the house parliament, adding that proportional representation holds the future for a balanced parliament. He also pointed out that the cost of running by-elections is taking a toll on government budget.  The speech of the vice president is in line with the speaker’s statement last week whiles addressing the parliamentary female caucus on the affirmative action bill which the speaker said requires a review of certain aspects of the laws. The affirmative action bill is yet to be laid before the house to be passed into law, giving women the opportunity to participate in governance.

VP Juldeh also went on to state that there is need to review standing committees to reflect the governance topography of the state citing an example of other countries that are following the trend by adding more standing committees.  He ended up appealing to parliament to decentralize the sittings of parliament to bring parliament closer to the people by way of ensuring sittings are held in the provinces which will in turn give MPs the opportunities to see public service delivery on ground.

Whiles giving his annual report, the speaker of parliament, Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu encouraged political parties to learn to listen, talk to and accommodate one another in the interest of uplifting the country.  He emphasized the importance of the inauguration of the “Parliament Open Day” which should be welcomed by all because it is believed to be a new beginning and it resonates with the Bo declaration signed on 28th August this year by all the political parties represented in parliament.  The open day of parliament is the first ever in the history of the country since the establishment of parliament and it is aimed at ensuring transparency and understanding of the workings of parliament.

In his address, the European Union Ambassador to Sierra Leone Tom Vens encouraged that the openness and accountability that parliament has demonstrated by inaugurating the open day should endure beyond the open day event and entrenched in all in all the workings of parliament. Ambassador Vens added that the current parliament should contribute to positive change in ensuring an inclusive representation of women in the current parliament.

Parliament will be engaged in telling people about it working for the next two days but the concern of many is going beyond the said event.

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