From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, As Parliament Re-opens Today... SLPP MPs Set to Scrutinize President’s Speech
By Aruna Turay & Mohamed Kanu
Oct 8, 2010, 11:10

President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone will today 8th October, 2010 open the Fourth Session of the Third Parliament of the Second Republic in the Well of Parliament, Tower Hill in Freetown. Since the APC party celebrated their third year in governance in September last month, today brings the first opportunity for the President to address the House of Parliament. For this the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) are in top gear to actively scrutinize the opening speech of His Excellency.

 

This was disclosed by the Acting Minority Leader in Parliament, Honorable Emmanuel Tommy at the usual Thursdays weekly government press briefing yesterday convened at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Information and Communications, Youyi Building in Freetown.  According to Hon. Emmanuel Tommy, as the President is expected to address the House on his government’s achievements for the past twelve months, including his plans for the coming year, they in the opposition would have to actively scrutinize the speech. He said the next five days in parliament would be set aside to thoroughly read, debate and scrutinize the president’s speech to prove whether he is up to his task or not. “During that period, members of the SLPP in Parliament will take a look at what the president has highlighted as his government’s achievements to see whether they are real or mere figments as propaganda tools,” Hon. Tommy posited, adding that they expected the president to talk on his promises in last session’s pronouncements. “Those promises are what President Koroma will be talking on in his address to the MPs today in his speech to let us know whether he actualized them of not,” he went on.  

 

According to Hon. Tommy, as a Member of Parliament, if he were to rate President Koroma’s performance in his just concluded twelve months in governance, he would not hesitate to rank him 35%.  He said this is because to date, the people of this country are still suffering from acute shortage of pipe-borne water supply, electricity, corruption, unfair distribution of wealth, rape, acute youth employment and armed robbery among others, things he said he would accomplish in three years. “The significance of his speech to mark the re-opening of Parliament is that it will help the opposition to know whether the President did listen to us to correct his pitfalls from the last assessment,” he further noted, while underpinning that  the success of any government depends on a strong and vibrant opposition. “If the APC listen to the opposition SLPP carefully in certain decisions they make, I believe they will achieve success in the end of their ruling as a party,” he concluded.



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