Sierra Leone: Parliament proposes state of emergency

Freetown, Sierra Leone (PANA) - Reports from  Parliament building at Towerhill suggest that a closed-door meeting was held on Tuesday, 29 August, by Members of Parliament (MP), where the majority leader of the house informed colleagues on a proposed declaration of a state of emergency in the country.

The emergency was proposed due to the recent mudslide and flood disaster that the country has undergone. Opposition MPs anonymously told PANA that the government wants to use the disaster as a pretext to take such drastic steps.

This is not the first time the Parliament has attempted to extend the terms of the President. In the aftermath of the Ebola epidemic that hit the country, there were calls for the President to extend his tenure.

If the proposal is enacted, a state of emergency could indefinitely postpone elections in the West African state. Sierra Leone is set to conduct general elections in March 2018. The national electoral body has already been summoned to face Parliament on Wednesday, 30 August, the reason is still unknown to the public.

The government has not reacted officially on this matter. But civil society groups are known to be bracing up for a fight with parliament on the issue.

Early this week, the National Electoral Commission briefed the President on how far the electoral process has gone. The commission’s spokesperson, Albert Massaqoui , told the public in a radio interview on Tuesday that they were still on course to conduct the elections in March, 2018.
-0- PANA MJN/VAO 30Aug2017

30 august 2017 13:38:07

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