Majority Leader of Parliament, Honourable Eddie Turay on Thursday 9th October 2008 confirmed that the marriage of convenience between the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) and the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) is presently encountering a shaky romance.
Hon. Turay made this disclosure while addressing pressmen at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Information and Communication on the activities of the Sierra Leone Parliament over the past one year.
“The PMDC, which is the bride of the APC, has a cordial relationship in parliament even though we are presently experiencing a shaky marriage,” Hon. Eddie Turay said, whilst assuring that they are yet to be divorced.
He also pointed out that all the parties in parliament, SLPP, PMDC and APC have been enjoying a cohesive relationship as far as parliamentary procedures are concerned.
Hon. Turay adds that there was a skirmish at one time that led to the SLPP walking out of parliament.
“As a whole, all the three parties have been working hand in gloves in the passing of bills,” he noted.
Hon. Turay explained that the oversight committees in parliament do play an important role in the activities of all ministries and other parastatals.
He also spoke on the right of parliament to reverse the appointment of any official that went through the House if found wanting in relation to falsification of documents and asset declaration.
“At present, a certain minister is been investigated on an issue that has to do with false declaration of assets and qualification,” he disclosed, adding that parliament will be left with no option other than to dismiss the minister if the investigations found him guilty.
He says the Sierra Leone parliament has the least resources in the whole of West Africa.
“Out of 25 committees in the House there are only 4 clerks that handle the businesses of these committees,” he said, adding that most parliamentarians use motorbikes to attend sitting as there are no provisions that suit their status as members of parliament.
Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Emmanuel Tommy complained that they are not given opportunities to debate freely in parliament as they are not allowed by the Speaker of the House to actively contribute in debates.
“I am using this opportunity to appeal to the Speaker of the House to allow the debates for as long as Members of Parliament has inputs,” he said, adding that they are not happy about the present situation.
He also explained that the MPs are not widely recognized especially by ministers and other parastatals.
“Parliamentarians deserve respect which ought to be given to the society by all and sundry,” he said while raising concern over the continued intimidation of SLPP members.
“It must be brought to an immediate halt in the interest of peace and stability,” he stated.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.