Former chairman and leader of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has drawn the attention of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and his fellow SLPP members to the clauses of the current SLPP Constitution that have been breached by those purporting to attempt to amend and create rules and regulations of the party.
Political parties in Sierra Leone are very powerful entities that mould and shape the national polity so the Law requires, any and all amendments to Constitution of any registered political party in Sierra Leone, to be published by that party in Government Gazette.
So it was that the SLPP’s amended Constitution was published as a gazetted Government Notice No. 240 on 23rd July 2010. Part of it stated in Clause 4(B)5(E) that before the SLPP’s National Executive Council makes any rules or regulations, it must first, “Propose to the Annual Party Conference such amendments to the Constitution, Rules and Standing Orders” and that it must also “submit to the Party Conference such Resolutions and Declarations affecting the programme, principles and policies of the Party”.
However, according to John Benjamin, who also seeks to become the next President of Sierra Leone, his SLPP has flouted their laid down clauses. He says therefore, the recent new rules and regulations for SLPP internal elections, were invalid.
“I am further instructed by my client Mr. Benjamin to state that the national executive council of the SLPP does not have the constitutional mandate to make rules and regulations. They were made in flagrant violation of clause (4) (3) (A) and clause 4 (B) (5) (e) of the SLPP constitution 1995 (as amended) in government notice No. 240 dated Friday 23 July 2010. Any rules and regulations enacted by NEC must first be proposed at the annual party conference,” Lawyer Abu Sangarie wrote to PPRC on the instructions of Mr. Benjamin.
Mr. Benjamin also accused the national executive council of failing to comply with the recent Supreme Court judgement in the matter between Alie Essay Bangura and others Vs Chief Kapen and others to set up an independent electoral board to prepare the electoral process and conduct elections.
Mr. Benjamin is therefore seeking an electoral process that complies with the basic democratic principles of constitutionality and equality of members.