Concord Times (Freetown)

21 September 2012

Sierra Leone: Parliament Defers PPRRC Bill Debate

Parliament yesterday postponed deliberation on the long-awaited Political Parties Registration and Regulation Commission (PPRRC) Bill which was earlier announced by the Majority Leader of parliament and government business, Hon. Sheku B. B. Dumbuya.

The Majority Leader said some senior members of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party raised serious concerns over the new regulations the commission is requesting, saying they contravene certain clauses in the nation's constitution.

In support of the raised concerns, the opposition members noted that the constitution of Sierra Leone has to be amended before any debate can commence on the PPRRC Bill.

They explained that Section 34 sub-section(4) stated that the commission shall be responsible for the registration of all political parties and for that purpose may make such regulation as may be necessary for the discharge of its responsibilities under the constitution.

The opposition also stated that section 35 sub-section (1), subject to the provisions vested in it by these parties, may be established to participate in shaping the political will of the people to disseminate information on political ideas and economic programmes of national character and to sponsor candidates for presidential, parliamentary or local government elections.

Hon. Dumbuya noted that the concerns raised by the opposition are legitimate and therefore they see it as a paramount issue not only for the opposition but also for the ruling party hence thought it fit for certain provisions in the constitution to be amended before the bill is debated in parliament.

The bill was adjourned till today.

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