By Ragan M. Conteh
The Vice President of Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, has disclosed that the concept of the winner takes all in governance has undermined national cohesion and development in Sierra Leone.
The Vice President made this disclosure while attending the inaugural Parliament Open Day in the Well of Parliament, Tower Hill in Freetown.
Dr. Juldeh Jalloh had proffered for the expansion of the membership of the Sierra Leone Parliament with a view to include representatives from Civil Societies, Religious Leaders, amongst others.
The theme for the inaugural Parliament Open Day 2019 is “making the Parliament of Sierra Leone visible and enhancing citizens’ knowledge and understanding of its work”.
The event was sponsored by the European Union, United Nations, Westminster Foundation and it is the first in the history of Sierra Leone.
It was organized to improve on the relationship between Parliament and members of the public especially its constituents across the country.
The event is also expected to enlighten constituents on the main functions of Parliament.
He continued that there is no better place to showcase inclusion rather than the House of Parliament, and encouraged Parliament to expand its membership as it is evident in other Parliaments around the world.
VP Jalloh advised Parliament to endeavor to build a strategic and developmental relationship with the Executive arm of governance.
He appealed to Parliament to create a platform of taking Parliament to the people through decentralization of the House in various parts of the country.
He entreated Parliament to look into electoral laws and systems and added that constituency systems do not favor increased gender participation in governance.
The Vice President dilated on the positive strides of the New Direction Administration to promote sustainable development in various sectors including education, agriculture, health and energy.
He said Sierra Leone had received enormous national and international commendations for fighting corruption and enrolment of more girls into schools.
Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu, intimated guests that the aim for the Open Day is to achieve four key overarching objectives ranging from increasing public awareness, understanding of the work of Parliament, enhancing citizens’ understanding of the constitutional roles of the MPs, heightening public trust and confidence in Parliament, making Parliament accessible, participatory and above all responsive to the interests of the citizenry.
He underscored the point that they have been able to send a sound and able representation to the Pan-African Parliament, ACP-EU Parliament, ECOWAS Parliament, as well as to statutory meetings of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Inter-Parliamentary Union and other International Parliamentary Organizations.
Dr. Bundu disclosed that since his assumption of office as Speaker, the Parliament of the Second Republic has been able to consider 102 motions, passed 15 bills into law, laid 134 Papers, approved 382 Presidential Nominees, Standing Orders 5 and 2 105 times.
He added that they have also ratified 20 Protocols and Conventions, 36 Agreements, voted into law seven statutory Instruments and adopted six rulings of the Speaker on the practice and procedure of the House.
He observed that the most notable of all laws passed under his leadership are the Amendment of the Sexual Offences Act of 2012 and the Finance Act of 2020.
The ceremony was graced by various national and international dignitaries including key donor partners who pledged their unflinching support to government, especially the House of Parliament for the development of Sierra Leone and the livelihood of its people.
By Ragan M. Conteh