From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Parliament Demands Apology from SLPP MPs
By Augustine Samba
Nov 25, 2010, 18:00

A private member motion demanding that members of parliament representing the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) apologize for staging a walkout from parliament has been endorsed by the Sierra Leone Parliament. The motion was moved on Wednesday 24th November, 2010 by Hon. Ibrahim Bundu of the APC and seconded by Hon. Thomas Mansaray of the PMDC.

In moving the motion, Hon. Bundu said the action by the SLPP MPs was a direct affront to the provisions of both the National Constitution and the Parliamentary Standing Order which in his words ‘thus make it compulsory for the MPs to tender an unreserved apology.’

However, the said parliamentary resolve has been referred to by the SLPP MPs as ‘unprecedented, unwarranted and a violation of human rights.’

“We are not going to apologize to anybody,” Hon. Musa Sam told newsmen outside parliament yesterday. He said the walk out was done within the ambit of the law and hence, cannot be described as a breach of parliamentary proceedings. “The reason for which we boycotted parliament has not been taken into consideration and the violence is still being perpetrated by the APC in Kono,” he pointed out.

Hon. Sam described the motion endorsed by parliament as ‘very insincere,’ noting that since they left the well of parliament on Monday nobody has engaged them in any discussion to resolve the matter.

For her part, Hon. Elizabeth Lavalie said if the reasons for which they decided to boycott the budgetary debate were not addressed to the satisfaction of the party membership, they would continue to hold in abeyance their participation in not only the debate but in all subsequent deliberations in the House. “The SLPP will refer the matter to the Supreme Court if the Bill is passed with votes less than two thirds of parliamentary majority,” she opined, while describing the motion against them as illegal. “It is our right to walk out; nobody should neither suspend nor caution us,” she emphasized.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.