The main opposition All People’s Congress Party has yesterday demonstrated a very strong ability to fight against unconstitutionality by singlehandedly voting against the approval of the new NEC boss, Mohamed Konneh, by the House of Parliament.
Mr. Mohamed Konneh’s appointment, by President Bio to serve as the National Returning Officer and the Chief Electoral Commissioner, was opposed by the main opposition APC largely because it lacked consultations, according to them, with the sixteen (16) registered political parties as provided for in the 1991 Constitution.
The main opposition party had also claimed that Mr. Konneh was not a registered voter and does not also meet the other qualifications as provided for in the Constitution.
The APC scribe, Ambassador Osman Yansaneh, had threatened that the party would head for the Supreme Court in the event that the President goes ahead in imposing Mr. Mohamed Konneh on the people of Sierra Leone.
The position of the umbrella body of all registered political parties in Sierra Leone –APPA- is unclear as its Secretary General, Mr. Karmoh Kabba who also doubles as the Organizing Secretary and representative of the APC at APPA, had denied that APPA was also not consulted on the appointment of Mr. Konneh.
The ruling SLPP had maintained that they had adequately consulted with the registered political parties in the country and that they were going ahead to get Parliament to approve Mr. Konneh as the new NEC boss.
The new NEC boss went through the Appointments Committee and subsequently the general house on Tuesday 28th July,2020 to become Sierra Leone’s Chief Electoral Commissioner and National Returning Officer replacing N’fa Alie Conteh.
The voting process to get Mr. Konneh approved by Parliament was stiff as 40% of the 129 MPs voted against the new NEC boss, sending the signals that the main opposition, that is very critical to our elections process, had vehemently opposed the appointment of a man who has a stake in the 2023 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Mr. Konneh secured 78 votes of the 129 MPs while 51 voted against him to become the new NEC boss.
Many Sierra Leoneans had wanted the President to negotiate with the opposition rather than bulldozing the appointment of a key figure or if not the referee in the Local and Presidential and Parliamentary Elections will be questioned.
The Leadership of the main opposition had preliminary hailed the courage and exuberance of their MPs in resisting the appointment of the new NEC boss.
Sources within the corridors of the APC had hinted that the party is in the process of filing papers at the Supreme Court to challenge the appointment of Mr. Konneh.