CRC Executive Secretary Sahr Kpulum will introduce the CRC Members of the 80 – member Committee to the gathering which is expected to include Cabinet Ministers and Members of the Diplomatic Corps and the International Community represented in Sierra Leone, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which is partner with the Sierra Leone Government in the review exercise, at a cost of 4.1 (four point one) million US Dollars.
The Chairman for the occasion will be Mr. Osho Coker, Secretary to President Ernest Bai Koroma.at State House.
There will be a Presentation of Salient Recommendations in the Report by the Chief Technical Adviser to the CRC.
Attorney General & Minister of Justice Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara will make a statement to be followed by the CRC Chairman Justice (Retired) Edmond Cowan”s statement and the Presentation of the Report to President Ernest Bai Koroma.
The high point of the occasion will be an Address by President Ernest Bai Koroma.
The programme will end with the Vote of Thanks by Mrs Olatungi Campbell, Chairperson, State Policy.
President Koroma officially launched the 80 – Member CRC on 30th July, 2013 to review the existing 1991 Republican Multi Party Constitution..
President Ernest Bai Koroma is on record for encouraging Sierra Leoneans to come up with ideas, and has said “the CRC must listen to everyone, and come up with a document that will make governance better; that will deepen democracy; that will make everybody feel part and parcel of government machinery”.
According to the CRC Chairman, members of the CRC, during the Plenary Sessions, deliberated on the issues raised by members of the public, after the publication of the abridged draft report earlier in 2016.
“We will not come out publicly with the final report, but will present it to the Government and the Government will come out with a WHITE PAPER, that is when the public will know what is in our final report , what the Government agrees with, and what it disagrees with,” the CRC Chairman has been quoted as saying.
Recounting the further steps to be taken after the presentation of the final report to the Government, Justice Cowan has said “from the point of the Government issuing its White Paper on the Final Report, an Amendment Bill to the 1991 Republican Constitution of Sierra Leone will be prepared and taken to Parliament.”
The Government White Paper will form the basis on which the Legal Draftsmen in the Law Officers Department will prepare the Amendment Bill to the 1991 Republican Constitution which the Learned Attorney General and Minister of Justice Honourable Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara will pilot through Parliament for it to go through the Parliamentary process and for it to become an Act of Parliament, BUT, “President Koroma will not sign it into LAW until it has gone through a National Referendum, according to Section 108 of the 1991 Constitution ALTERATION OF THE CONSTITUTION:” which states, among other things, as follows:-
“(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, Parliament may alter this Constitution.
“(2) A Bill for an Act of Parliament under this section shall not be passed by Parliament unless –
(a) before the first reading of the Bill in Parliament the text of the Bill is published in at least two issues of the GAZETTE: provided that not less than nine days shall elapse between the first publication of the Bill in the Gazette and the second publication:
(b) the Bill is supported on the second and third readings by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the Members of Parliament.”
Subsection (3) states, “A Bill for an Act of Parliament enacting a new Constitution or altering any of the following provisions of this Constitution, that is to say, (as listed in the Constitution, most of which are entrenched clauses)
“shall not be submitted to the President for his Assent and shall not become Law unless the Bill, after it has been passed by Parliament and in the form in which it was so passed has, in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf, been submitted to and been approved at a Referendum.”
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has already intimated that the Review of the 1991 Constitution is part of their programme for the conduct of the February 2018 General Elections – Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government.
The Government White Paper on the Constitutional Review Committee ((CRC) Final Report, will be the determining factor whether President Ernest Bai Koroma , who is 63 years young, as LEADER of the All Peoples Congress (APC) political party, can run in the scheduled February 2018 Parliamentary election, that is, if a PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT is adopted, like in Britain and Israel, in which case he can become an EXECUTIVE PRIME MINISTER of Government, if the APC political party wins the majority of seats in Parliament, and the Executive Prime Minister names an Eminent Sierra Leonean as ceremonial President.
CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY OOR
2006 AP (ASSOCIATED PRESS) GRAMLING SPIRIT AWARD WINNER
RETIRED (1989) CONTROLLER (NEWS & CURRENT AFFAIRS)
FORMER MINISTRY OF INFORMATION & BROADCASTING.