March 15, 2016 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
Chairman and Leader of the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), Mohamed Kamarainba Mansary, has condemned the appointment of erstwhile United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Mohamed Bangura to cabinet, describing the latter as a ‘black sheep’.
In a press release dated Monday, 14 March, 2016 Mansaray contended that the former UDM leader is not qualified to serve as minister because according to him, his appointment is unconstitutional.
“The action of President Koroma in appointing Mohamed Bangura is in total breach of section 56(2)(b) of Act No.6 of the 1991 constitution, having contested the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections,” the release stated.
Section 56(2)(b) of the 1991 Constitution states that a person shall not be appointed a minister or deputy minister if he had contested and lost as a candidate in the general election immediately preceding his nomination.
Mr. Bangura was appointed Minister of Information and Communication by President Ernest Bai Koroma Sunday, 13 March, following the biggest Cabinet shake-up since he was re-elected in 2012
The ADP leader described the decision of President Koroma to appoint Mr. Bangura as ‘unethical’ because the latter was until few months ago a leader of a political party, adding that the appointment of Dr. Christiana Thorpe, who conducted the 2007 and 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections, was also morally wrong.
Mohamed Bangura went through the nomination process as presidential candidate of the UDM in 2012, but controversially went on radio and told his supporters to vote for President Ernest Bai Koroma without officially withdrawing from the contest, few days to the crucial elections.
The firebrand ADP leader also accused President Koroma of not respecting the country’s constitution he had sworn an oath to protect, making allusion to the dismissal of former Vice President Chief Sam Sumana, the suspension of the Kono Mayor and awarding the APC symbol to a person receiving salary from the Consolidated Fund, in reference to Hon. I.B. Kargbo, who was Special Adviser to the President prior to his winning a parliamentary bye-election in Bombali district, which the ADP leader also vied for. He has since challenged Hon. Kargbo’s victory in the High Court.
The ADP leader also called on the leadership of Parliament not to ratify Mr. Bangura’s appointment.
While there has been no official comment from State House or Mr. Bangura, it is highly unlikely that Parliament will reject any of the nominees.
Meanwhile, a legal analyst that refused to be named said the sections quouted in the ADP release could only be applicable to persons who contested and lost parliamentary elections, not presidential contests.
Also, our source noted that a precedent had been set by the late President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, who appointed the late Thaimu Bangura, who was an aspirant in the presidential election of 1996, and Dr. James Jonah, the Chief Electoral Officer in the same election.