By Moses S. Sankoh
As Sierra Leone prepares for the 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary elections President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has registered to vote, joining millions of Sierra Leoneans who have so far registered.
The registration process is going on smoothly amidst recent disclosure by the Chief Executive Officer at Free Media Group, Umaru Fofana, that Parliament has adjourned and deferred to Monday to vote on a controversial motion which if passed could affect the country’s electoral calendar and extend the life of the House and the President.
The disclosure has brought about heighten tension with supporters of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party calming the action is an intent on the part of the ruling All Peoples Congress Party to extend the tenure of the residency while supporters of the APC are stating the story was reported out of context and an attempt by the source to tarnish the image of the government.
According to Parliamentary press release, minority leader of Parliament, Hon Dr. Bernadette Lahai and newly appointed majority leader of the ruling APC, Hon Leonard Fofanah, have asked parliament to summon the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to explain to them its electoral preparedness “within the confines of the constitutive laws of Sierra Leone”.
The Deputy Minister of Justice, John Arrow Bockarie, on March 16th tabled four constitutional and statutory instruments that will ensure that the general and local council elections are conducted in line with the newly amalgamated and resized constituency boundaries signed by the president, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
If the request by NEC is approved by parliament constituency boundaries will increase from 112 to 132 parliamentary seats as well as effect changes to local council representations.