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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Who will interpret section 76(1) a?

HomeAYV NewsWho will interpret section 76(1) a?

Who will interpret section 76(1) a?

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They claimed the implementation of the law in less than two months to the country’s multitier elections is deliberate and a political witch-hunt aimed at crippling especially the flagbearer of the newly formed National Grand Coalition, Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella. It is an open secret that Yumkella is increasingly upsetting both the All People’s Congress and the Sierra Leone People’s Party, the two traditional parties that have enjoyed the most part of power in the country since independence. Yumkella has been biting hugely in the traditional strongholds of the two colonial parties which, an act that is not going down well with the parties. If the APC is to lose the elections, I bet my life they will want to lose to their sister the SLPP. The same applies to the SLPP; if they are to make a choice they will choose the APC. The reason being, both parties can cover their tracks and both parties have said there are only two parties in the country, and those are the SLPP and the APC.

Yumkella’s presence has been bold and is getting bolder across the country with his message of change. But now to my question of who will interpret the Constitution. I know many will think that I have gone zilch simply because the Supreme Court is the only body that can interpret the Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone and they expect me to know that. But I asked the question as a result of the composition of the bodies that should interpret law and implement the said law. I know I am not a lawyer with the required expertise to argue on this, but me being an enlightened journalist who has been following both the legal and political trends, I am sure I’m safe to comment on it with my opinion.

We have bodies that come into play here; the Supreme Court, the National Electoral Commission and the Political Parties’ Registration Commission. The legality of the dissolved 4th Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone has been questioned. Many are arguing that over 80% of those who constituted the last Parliament were not legitimate people. They were members who violated the said section 76 that is taking the center stage of political discussions now in the country.

Denying those with dual nationality symbol to contest for elective positions and trying to rid off cabinet members with dual nationality is tempting to say that the APC and the Government have agreed that the decision to send them to Parliament in 2007 and 2012 was unconstitutional. That “unconstitutional” constitution of the last Parliament approved the Judges who are now supposed to interpret the said section. If the Parliament was filled with illegal Members, then it is safe to say that all decisions that were made should be illegal, thus should be declared null and void. How can an “illegitimate” body approves a body that should interpret a legal instrument?

Again, the National Electoral Commission commissioners were approved by the same Parliament after their appointment by the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma who sworn in 2007 and 2012 to uphold and protect the Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Do they have the legitimate power to disqualify any individual when they themselves are enjoying from the decision of an “illegitimate” Parliament? The same thing goes for the Political Parties Registration Commission…? In fact, what is really legal under the sun in Sierra Leone?

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