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Sylvia Blyden Dot Com

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Ernest Bai Koroma's Desk is Where the Buck Stops in Sierra Leone
By Awareness Times
Nov 1, 2013, 17:06
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Formation of Cabinet & Exercise of Executive Authority in Sierra Leone.

59. (1) There shall be a Cabinet whose functions shall be to advise the President in the government of Sierra Leone and which shall consist of the President, the Vice-President and such Ministers as the President may from time to time appoint.

53. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the executive power in Sierra Leone shall vest in the President and may be exercised by him directly or through members of the Cabinet, Ministers, Deputy Ministers or public officers subordinate to him.

56. (5) Subject to the provisions of subsection (6), the Vice-President and the other Ministers under the direction of the President shall be responsible for such departments of State or other business of the Government as the President may assign to them.

56. (6) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (5), the President shall be responsible for such departments of State, including the Commissions established under this Constitution, as he may determine.

First Published on May 20th this year: Reproduced today for obvious reasons

Freetown, May 20th 2013:
Special Executive Assistant to His Excellency the President of Sierra Leone has said that Sections 53 and 56 of National Constitution of Sierra Leone places enormous and sacred responsibility on the shoulders of a sitting President to the extent that only the President might be held responsible for things going wrong in executive arm of governance. Dr. Sylvia Blyden was speaking on Friday May 17th 2013 to this newspaper about how Presidential oversight supersedes everything else within the executive arm of government.

Blyden said executive power is vested only in the President and no-one else because Section 53 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone says the executive power in Sierra Leone shall vest in the President.


Blyden furthers that Section 56.(5) of  Constitution says starting from Honourable Vice-President down to Cabinet Ministers are all under the direction of the President even when they are placed in charge of ministries, departments of State or other business of the Government as the President may assign.


Dr. Blyden then explains further that Section 56.(6) goes on to say that notwithstanding the provisions of Section 56.(5) which allows the Vice-President and Ministers to be responsible for assignments given to them by the President, it is only the President who again shall be the one overall responsible for such departments of State, including Commissions established under this Constitution, as he may determine.


According to Blyden, this phrase of as he may determine ensconced within Section 56.(6) is basically a constitutional equivalent of saying what can be reflected via a popular American slang. That is, the buck stops at the Presidents desk and only at his desk.


So, if things go wrong in the various departments and commissions, the President is constitutionally to be held responsible although he has a Vice-President and has also appointed ministers to help him run the State, Blyden informed.


Even the Vice-President might not be held responsible as when you closely study the constitution, you see it tells you under Section 56.(6) that even the Vice-President can escape from overall responsibility for anything as he would be acting under sole direction of the President whilst carrying out his duties with respect to departments and commissions. So in essence, people should realise that President Koroma has a lot of responsibility to ensure the Executive runs smoothly. For the next five years, executive power in Sierra Leone is vested in only one man and that is Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma Sylvia Blyden furthered.


Dr. Blyden therefore urges all to realise that even though Cabinet Ministers and the Honourable Vice-President might be assigned executive duties by the President, at the end of the day, the President has a superseding oversight of any and all things within the executive arm of government.


She especially urged various commissions and those manning such commissions to properly understand their constitutional limitations when it comes to Presidential oversight of whatever they are doing within the Executive arm of government.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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