“We are not doing a Constitution for the SLPP or APC. We are creating a Constitution that will stand the test of time. Why do we want our own personal interests to supersede the national interest?” said Isatu J. Kabba, SLPP representative at the Constitutional Review process.
“I don’t actually understand why APC and other political parties are refusing to sign when in fact the only gaps during the process are that a lot of them were there and they were not participating. Maybe it was difficult for them to understand the whole process. Some parties and members were standing outside. Others were playing with their phones which shows they were only going there for the Le200,000 which was given to us at the end of every sitting”.
Kabba said those that are raising issues on the draft Constitution must read it properly stating that the draft Constitution did not strip responsibilities from the President. She added, “In fact, why should the people of Sierra Leone draft a Constitution that will derail the President when they know at any time power will change hands?”
“The issue APC is raising is a ploy to derail the whole process. They don’t want this document because they thought we are going to put the third term thing. In the APC position paper, as presented, after a President has served for five years, he can go and rest and then come back to contest for President again. We debated on it and voted overwhelmingly against that idea. If you have served – serve and go”
“It looks like the APC wants the Constitution written specifically for President Koroma”, she noted. She explained one of the issues raised by the APC: the Presidential appointment of the Chief Justice.
Kabba disclosed, “Suggestions from all the consultations noted the need for the judiciary to have their independence and the appointment of the Chief Justice should not be hand-picked by the President. We have Judicial and Legal Service Commission, so we say they should be given the mandate since they are working with the judges and they know them better than you and I.
“All the issues the APC are talking about are issues that we have discussed and taken positions on in the presence of APC representatives, lawyers, civil societies, judges, leaders of different union among others. So what is their problem?”
“As for us at the SLPP, we are done with the review process and the report has been printed. We have been in this for three years and it is the same APC government that was rushing people for the report to be ready by September. We are wasting a lot of money and time.”