Leader of Govt Business Vows Tough Action against APC MPs - Sierra Leone News

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Leader of Govt Business Vows Tough Action against APC MPs

The Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Honorable Mohamed Sidi Tunis of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has vowed to take tough action against members of parliament of the main Opposition All People’s Congress APC party after they staged a walk out of the well of Parliament before President Julius Maada Bio could deliver his speech at the State Opening last Thursday.

The APC MPs constitute majority in Parliament.

The Leader of Government Business in Parliament made this pronouncement during an interview on Monday on Radio Democracy 98.1.

Hon. Sidi Tunis said that under the Standing Order of Parliament, a Member of Parliament has the right to come or leave the well of Parliament. “But in this particular case, we have precedent especially when the president is in the well of parliament and trying to address the parliament and you decide to walk out, there are penalties for that”.

He said that the penalties are not laid down, but there are precedents that have been set against SLPP MPs by the former Ernest Bai Koroma led government. He recalled that in the past government, SLPP MPs did the same thing and they were reprimanded.

He said that at that time APC made sure that all SLPP Members of Parliament who walked out of parliament were prevented from travelling out of the country through government sponsorship. “They did not allow any SLPP Member of Parliament to be any chairman or deputy chairman of any Committee in Parliament, in other words government will not invest in you as a Member of Parliament,” he said.

He said when he got the intelligence that the APC MPs were to walk out of Parliament, he discussed with many APC MPs informing them that if they walk out of parliament when the president is giving his speech, many of them will lose their strategic committee positions as honorable members.

“As I speak now, I can categorically say that no APC MP will ever be chairman or deputy chairman of any committee in Parliament for this session; and two, I can also say with all certainty that under my leadership, government will not sponsor a trip of any kind of any APC MP that boycotted Parliament when the president was about to make his address,” he said, adding that this precedent will continue until the end of the session which will last for one year.

He also emphasised that no APC MP will be sponsored to attend Pan African Parliament.
Following the statement made by Hon. Sidi Tunis, the Acting Leader of the main opposition APC party in Parliament, Honorable Ibrahim Kargbo has said that his party did not recognize Hon. Sidi Tunis as the leader of Government Business in Parliament, adding that he should be the Leader of the minority in Parliament. He accused Hon. Sidi Tunis of fueling anarchy in the country.

“In the first place, we did not cause any havoc neither interfere with the proceedings of Parliament; all we did was to quietly walked out in order to avoid problems in Parliament,” he said.

“Mr. Tunis Knows full well that our APC party, above any other party, has been in the helm of cooperation with the SLPP since they came to power,” he said.

He stressed that since the SLPP came to power, President Bio has been nominating his people into strategic positions and they have been screening and approving them without any problem in order to have a process of national reconciliation, peace and concord.

“So for him to say that they will use a kangaroo system that will deprive legitimate and elected Members of Parliament from travelling abroad to perform government business, to me it serve very strange but we are not going to listen to him,” he said.

On the issue of preventing APC MPs from heading committees, Honorable Kargbo said, “The rules are very clear, I wish Mr. Tunis understands the procedure over the years. He knows that it should be the APC that should head the appointment committee hence we have the majority.”

He accused honorable Tunis of being destructive of peace and reconciliation, as they have been working to ensure stability since the SLPP came into power. He said that they will not accept it from the SLPP and Hon. Tunis anymore.

“If I commit any offence that bridges the rules of parliamentary proceedings, it’s the speaker of parliament that should announce my wrong doings and not Tunis,” he said.

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