Barrister Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie, quoted passages from the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and the Public Elections Act of 2012 and confirmed that it is impossible for Presidential and Parliamentary elections to be held at the same time in 2018. He continued and said that it would be unconstitutional.
The presidential term of office expires 23rd November 2017. Elections must be held within three months of the end of the term. Therefore, by the 23rd of February 2018, Presidential elections should be held.
Parliament’s session will expire in March 2018. Parliamentary elections should be held in May 2018, within three months the expiry of Parliament.
Local Council terms run for four years and expired in late 2016. Elections were delayed by the Population and Housing Census and the NEC boundary delimitation process. It is the responsibility of NEC to reschedule Local Council elections, which should be held after the presidential elections.
According to Tejan-Sie, after consulting the Constitution and Elections Act, said the Presidential elections shall be called and conducted by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) in consultation with the President. While Parliamentary elections and Local Council elections are the prerogative of the President in consultation with NEC.
Section 43, Sub-section B, and Section 49 1A of the 1991 Constitution clearly explains the term of office of the President and other provisions. While Section 43 Sub-section 2 & 3, no. 4 of the Public Election Act of 2012 gives the mandate to NEC to declare and fix the date of presidential elections.