The Leader of Government Business Hon. Mathew S. Nyuma has assured the delegation of the All Political Parties Association (APPA) that the Fifth Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone will not legislate a law that kills democracy in Sierra Leone.
The Leader of Government Business made this statement after a high-powered delegation from the All Political Parties Association (APPA) raised a concern about a discriminatory clause in the Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC) Bill which states that if a political party does not score a threshold of 2% of the vote cast such political party shall be deregistered.
“I am happy you called for a meeting and the points you have raised are very sensitive. As I said in the chambers I will continue to say that laws are enacted for the good of all and to stand the test of time. I don’t believe in making laws to advantage me simply because I have the power. The ideal thing to do is to make a law that is in the interest of the state. So am happy you made your point emphatically clear that you don’t want that clause in the proposed PPRC Bill”, he said.
The Leader of the Government also assured the delegation that parliament will accept their input, especially towards the PPRC Bill and expressed delight over the concern raised by APPA. Having lavished praises on the Leader of Government Business for good legislation over the past four years, Hon. Mathew Nyuma said the accolade given to him does not only belongs to him but all the political party leadership in Parliament irrespective of their various political attachment. He added that due to mutual understanding, they have been very successful in enacting progressive laws for Sierra Leone.
Hon. Nyuma also assured that the Parliament will continue to may good laws in tandem with the Bo declaration in the best interest of putting the nation first. He furthered that the concerns from APPA are well taken into consideration. He urged APPA to formally channel their concerns to the clerk of parliament ahead of a debate on the PPRC Bill. Hon. Nyuma also encouraged APPA to send those concerns to all the Members of Parliament so that when they are debating the Bill, they will look at those discriminatory provisions for possible redress.
The Leader of Government Business acknowledged that APPA is a very serious political entity. He, therefore, frowned at the moves of eliminating smaller political parties simply because they are not represented in Parliament or the councils. He maintained that the smaller political parties have contributed to promoting Sierra Leone’s Democracy. He concluded by appealing to the APPA Team to send in their recommendations and concerns to parliament through the Clerks’ Offices.
In his initial submission on behalf of the All Political Parties Association (APPA), the Chairman of APPA Prince Coker, appreciated the Leader of Government Business for his good leadership in legislating good laws for
Sierra Leone. He added that it is in the House of Parliament where political Parties sent their representations as Members of Parliament. He noted that parliament has been enacting good laws, not in the interest of SLPP, APC or other political parties, but in the interest of Sierra Leone. He assured the Leader of Government Business that the association will continue to support parliament in enacting good legislation.
Prince Coker, however, admonished the Leader of Government Business that they are worried as smaller political parties since the PPRC Bill was tabled in the well of Parliament. He made specific reference to a clause in the bill which states that if a political party does not score the threshold of 2% of total valid votes cast, that political party should be deregistered. He, therefore, considered such a clause a discriminatory clause for smaller political parties. He called on the Leader of Government Business and other Members of Parliament to come to their aid in expunging such discriminatory clause in the PPRC Bill.