News & Current Affairs

Boxing Heavy Weights Contest in Parliament Without Refs

On PR voting system bill, Parliamentary government turns boxing news and more than Mohamed Ali fought. Sylvia Blyden mentions absented ingredients causing the match.

Like Mike Tyson, Holyfield’s, Mohamed Ali and the others, fights were done in the boxing ring for a sporting prizes. You must be a boxer to contend and must be in the same weight category to be at par with your opponent for an equal and open fight.

Quite the contrast in the newly invented political boxing ring of a place called the Sierra Leonean parliament at Tower Hill, Freetown. Name it pin, feather, medium or heavy weight, the blows come from varied unpaid sporting contestant of Member of parliaments against political opponents when ever there is disagreement in parliament. The strangest of boxing contest that also involved destroying the parliamentary boxing ring furniture, occurred around 11:00 am and by mid afternoon it had subsided with police intervention toeing away the not too heavy weight of MPs who had been quite disruptive.

Fun it may look or sound like, it is becoming an eye sore, a ridicule and an unprofessional way of expressing discontent within the well of a sacred place called parliament but may well need attention going forward.

The 23rd of November witnessed challenging times in parliament. Repeatedly, the speaker of the house of parliament asked for restraint. Though one could hardly hear emphasis from the Whip of parliament in maintaining order. Quite frankly all directives for order had been flouted including the very standing orders that mandates speakers to interject or speak on a motion or from an opinionated standpoint. Nonetheless, sour as it may be, one would ask what caused it?

Discontent from the opposition that the constitution is being violated on the premise of the introduction of PR system and that of the tabling of the regulations for local councils according new rules set by the ECSL that will make the ECSL further independent hence the ECSL Bill. The root is that it is unconstitutional having the backing of the government and lacks procedural flaws. Again, are these claims worth fighting for?

The idea of the existence of MP is representation of their varied constituencies. Quite frankly, if differing constituencies are represented, then there is social disintegration ongoing with a recipe for carnage at constituency and regional levels since their representatives are fighting in parliament. It is bound for social separation to occur within the country from the birth of opposition neglect in parliament as claimed in the watched video of the incident at the Sierra Leonean parliament by opposition parliamentarians.

Retrospectively, it is evident there are flaws in gazetting the very PR system for which regulations are being tabled in the proposed ECSL Bill according to one of Sierra Leone’s most respected Journalist and politician, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden. Persons responsible for sales or display of the PR system gazetted document admit an issue with the government printing press and there was none on shelves for public offer. Dr Blyden asserts “it is only when the general public can access a gazetted document that it can be considered as being lawfully gazetted”. She furthered the executive cannot print for the legislative alone leaving out the public who should technically lend credence to the lawful process of hearing, debate, revision and completion.

Decisively, Sylvia Blyden underlines “this Government needs to stop treating Citizens with CONTEMPT and DISRESPECT. If the Government wants to lay materials in Parliament, they should first gazette it for the attention of the general public”.

Given the nature of recent occurrences, one would project the table will turn for the worse using same patterns if any political party other than the SLPP wins election in Sierra Leone because controversial precedence are being set in tabling, manoeuvring votes through chaos stimulation and MP exclusions from the well of parliament as many in the country now opine and as evidenced in mainstream and social media.

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