Following the suspension of Parliamentary proceedings in protest for better conditions of service, Members of Parliament have again refused to sit.
The MPs had summoned the Minister of Finance, Development and Economic Planning, Fred Carew last week to explain to Parliament why their conditions of service is not yet addressed; since they made the request for a monthly salary of Le12Million, even though the Minister said what he received as salary recommendation for MPs was Le 18Million plus $45, 000, 00 vehicle for each.
The Finance Minister told the MPs that their demands were unrealistic under the prevailing circumstances and should the salary paid to them; it would have an inflationary effect. The MPs were adamant as the Deputy Minority Leader; Hon Emmanuel Tommy moved a motion for the suspension of the Business of Parliament. The motion was seconded and the debt relief agreement under the enhanced HIPC debt relief initiative between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the OPEC fund for International Development and also that between the government and the Arab Bank for Economic Development; including that of the Kuwait fund for Arab Economic Development that was supposed to have been ratified that day, were all suspended.
Realizing the implication behind that move by the MPs, the President summoned the various Leaders in Parliament together with the Finance Minister to a meeting where the MPs agreed to allow the Minister read the 2009 budget last Friday.
Prior to the reading of the budget, Hon Emmanuel Tommy reminded Parliament the he was only suspending his motion for the budget to be read.
Yesterday was to have being the start of the five allotted days for the debate of the budget but that did not materialize as Fred Carew and the various Leaders in Parliament held a closed door meeting in the Speaker’s Office on the conditions of service. Even the Sergeant at- Arms was said to be cautioned to be in his normal dress.