The House of Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone on Tuesday 1st May 2012 passed into law, the bill entitled ‘the Public Elections Act 2012’. The bill which was first tabled before the House on Tuesday 24th April 2012, by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Frank Kargbo, sailed through turbulent and difficult lanes before it was enacted into the laws of Sierra Leone. The bill is being an Act to consolidate and amend the laws on public elections to make provisions supplementary to Sections 32 and 33 of the Sierra Leone Constitution. This is with respect to the Electoral Commission and for other related matters. The bill will also review the existing legislation on public election, reflecting the present day requirement of good governance.
Debating the bill in Parliament, Hon. Sheku B.B. Dumbuya, who is also the Majority Leader in Parliament, representing the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) said several consultations have been made with stakeholders across the country on the bill before it was taken to parliament. According to him, as a ruling party, they believe in democratic principles and therefore did a pre-legislative briefing and all necessary conditions and technicalities for the importance of the bill.
Hon. Bernadette Lahai of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) advised that the bill be re-sent to the legislative committee for more scrutiny and for wider consultations. She said through this process, lots more stakeholders would be able contribute by sending comments for more amendments to the bill.
On the contrary, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu of the APC called on the House to continue the debate without resending it to the legislative stage.
Despite vigorous debate between SLPP and APC, the view of the APC prevailed and Hon. Bundu’s wish was eventually granted and approved by the majority in the House.
democratic document and that before it was brought to Parliament, a national consultation was held in all the Districts of Sierra Leone.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Frank Kargbo, said his government saw the bill as a
According to him, during that period, stakeholders were allowed to make inputs in the bill. He used the forum to commend suggestions and apprehensions made by various Members of Parliament on the bill.
He said thus, that time was of essence as far as the bill was concern, adding that the bill was of international standards and was in compliance with the European Union and United Nations expectations.
Reactions to the fact that the Bill passed through has been mixed.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.