His Excellency the President Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio is expected to soon open the newly elected next Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone. However, before he does so, the elected Members of Parliament (MPs) need to have chosen a Speaker to preside over them.
Interestingly, none of the political parties which contested the just concluded parliamentary elections, met the two-thirds majority threshold required to have a commanding lead in Parliament that could automatically see their party dictate who holds the Speaker position in Parliament.
Sources within the two big parties, the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) have disclosed to Awareness Times Newspaper yesterday 10th April 2018 that their top officials have embarked on a dialogue with smaller political parties, independent candidates and Paramount Chief Members of Parliament to galvanize support for the election of the new Speaker of Parliament.
Also, the Senior Public Relations Officer at Parliament, Mr. Sheku Lamin Turay in an exclusive chat with Awareness Times has stated that the new speaker of parliament could be brought from outside the elected MPs or could be from amongst parliamentarians. Whatever the case, he said the choice will be done by secret ballot. He went on to say that any parliamentarian contesting for the position of the Speaker must poll at least two thirds majority votes.
“As it stands, there are 132 members of parliament and 14 Paramount Chiefs Member of Parliament,” said Mr. Sheku Lamin Turay adding, “For the election of the Speaker of Parliament, the winner needs a minimum of 97 MPs voting in their favor”.
He further disclosed that, the Clerk of Parliament will on Thursday 12th April 2018 engage elected members of parliament to brief them on the proceedings of parliamentary. He added that the elected members of parliament will take the oath of office