Sierra Leone Parliament Passes Local Government (Amendment) Act 2022, Extends Tenure to 5 Years

The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on 8/2/2022 debated and passed into law the bill entitled “The Local Government (Amendment) Act, 2022”.

The Bill seeks to amend the Local Government Act 2004; to extend the period for local council elections from four years to five years, to extend the tenure of the chairperson and councillors from four years to five years to reflect the tenure of other elective public offices; to reduce the budget costs and to provide for other related matters.

Presenting the Bill prior to ratification, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Dr. Tamba John Sylvanus Lamina said The Local Government Amendment Act 2022, would make local councils’ elections permanent and to be conducted in line with the general elections every five years. He highlighted the challenges presently involved in conducting Local councils elections

In his contribution to the debate, Hon. Abdul Karim Kamara said the review of the voter register and boundary delimitation should not affect the election of the Local Council’s Election.

Hon. Daniel Koroma said the bill before the House is simple and commendable and noted that, the amendment bill would seek local Council’s election to be conducted in every five year instead of four year. “We are in support of the bill in moving the election to five years instead of four years”, he affirmed.

In his contribution to the debate, Leader of C4C  Hon. Emerson Saa Lamina said the bill before the House is appropriate and decried the past Government and the Minister that was in charged, Mayar KaiKai for failing to address the issues including slating an appropriate date for Local Council Election in line with the general election. He said it is appropriate for the postponement of the Local Councils Election to five years and said that it costs US $ 24 Millon to conduct Local Government Elections by the National Electoral Commission

Hon. Francis Amara Kai Samba said the bill is non-controversial and asked colleague MPs to support the passages of the Bill.

Hon. Moses Jokie supported the bill and said the past government introduces the “four four four” (444) system of elections and all political parties supported and participated in it.

Rounding up the debate the Acting Leader of the Opposition Hon. Daniel Koroma thanked the Minister for slating Local Council elections permanent to five years.

Concluding the debate Leader of Government Business Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma commended MPs for their contributions and expressed that Parliament has taken the right step in the right direction. He commended the Minister for strengthening democracy in asking Parliament to defer the Local Councils Elections to five years.

In other development, the Parliament of Sierra Leone has on 8/2/2022 debated the Bill entitled “The National Protected Area Authority and Conservation Trust Fund Act, 2022”, and committed it to the Legislative Committee for further scrutiny

The bill seeks to amend the National Protected Area Authority and Conservation Trust Fund Act, 2022, and to provide for other related matters.

Presenting the Bill to Parliament prior to ratification the Minister of Environment Prof. Foday Jaward said this Bill seeks to review and develop the ecosystem in the country; adding that a nationwide consultation was made on the bill with stakeholders in order to have a document that can stand the test of the time. He said the revised Act, when implemented would protect and preserve the ecosystem. He said in protecting the environment, the country would benefit from the green scenery.

Hon. Yusuf Mackery, the Parliamentary Chairman for the Environment said, there had been a lot of deforestation in the country; more particularly land degradation. He spoke on the need for collaboration with other ministers to safeguard the environment

Hon. Daniel Koroma in his submission commended the Environment Ministry for bringing Bills to Parliament to address the protection of the environment. He called on the minister to be more proactive in dealing with the protection of the environment and references the total deforestation of the peninsula forest.

Hon. Musa Fofanah commended the Minister of Environment and his team for showing the willingness to address the protection of the environment. He said most of the protected areas had been deforested by timber loggers and called for proper actions to be taken

Hon. Moses Edwin said the passage of this new bill would help to address the challenges of the environment.

Hon. Joseph William-Lamin applauded officials of the Environment Ministry for taking the leadership role to address the effect of climate change.

Hon. Ibrahim Kamara said his constituency host the largest forest in the country. He said the Tambaka-kelimi National Park rainforest is depreciating through deforestation of timber logging and new settlements

Rounding up the debate, the Acting Leader of Opposition Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo spoke on the effect of deforestation and the implementation of the green belt for the protection of the environment. He spoke about the need to collaborate  with  government to protect the environment

Concluding the debate, the Acting Leader of Government Business Hon.Bashiru Silikie said officials of NPAA need to step up in protecting the environment. He advised the supervisory ministry to do the needful in collaborating with other environmental agencies to address the effect of climate change.

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