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SLPP MP indecisive over ‘more time’ motion  

March 31, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi

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Hon. Konuwa…undecided as to whether to champion a ‘more time’ bill

Hon. Member of Parliament representing Constituency 014 in the Kenema district said outside the chambers of Parliament yesterday that he is contemplating to withdraw a controversial motion he had moved, urging lawmakers to institute an investigation into what he referred to as ‘the controversies’ surrounding the date for presidential election as announced by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) in consultation with President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Hon. Francis Konuwa, some three weeks ago, reminded his colleagues in Parliament of their constitutional responsibility of probing matters that are of public interest and that he was concerned that there have been animated debates both within and outside the country about the March 7 date for presidential election, thus urging that a Special Committee of the House look into the issue to certify the constitutionality of the date for the said election.

His decision to file a motion to be deliberated by parliamentarians generated nationwide speculation that he was advocating a controversial ‘More Time’ strategy by the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC), but Hon. Konuwa said he was being misunderstood by the people of Sierra Leone.

“I am contemplating on withdrawing this motion even though I was doing it in the interest of the people of Sierra Leone. I received several calls since last night. Some people even abused me and my family on the allegation that I have been given money to table a motion for the ‘more time’ plans. I will definitely consult with my party on this and I might withdraw the motion,” he said.

It could be recalled that on Tuesday, March 14th 2017 Hon. Konuwa rose and said in Parliament that, “A lot of debates have been going on in the public domain that the President has overstepped his mandate. Many people believed that the presidential election should be held in February and not March. Lawyers have been arguing a lot about it. This clearly shows that there is a lacuna in the laws regarding the date that was announced by the President. It is a serious concern and that is the reason I presented a motion for the House to look into this matter,” he said.

He added that he was concerned as a lawmaker that the National Electoral Commission agreed on the date.

“My motion has been accepted and I have already presented the relevant documents to the Clerk of Parliament so that it can be debated,” he concluded.

It remains unclear though why the opposition lawmaker is now contemplating to withdraw his motion, although our sources intimate that he has been put under tremendous pressure from among his party and constituent, many of whom see him as an agent of the controversial ‘more time’ scheme to elongate the tenure of  President Koroma and by extension the current parliament.

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