The Attorney- General and Minister of Justice, Franklyn Kargbo including representatives of all the political parties who presented position statements have pledged commitment to both the PPRC and the CRC, at a well-attended session held at the Miatta Conference Centre, at Brookfield’s in Freetown.
Representing the executive arm of government, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Franklyn Kargbo lauded the efforts of the PPRC with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for organizing a session to bring all political parties under one umbrella to engage and discuss the way forward in order to make meaningful contributions for a better and more united country.
He said the large turn-out of party representatives demonstrates national inclusiveness, which will make the work of the constitutional review committee (CRC) lighter as they prepare to go full gear, which at the end will enhance the integrity of the country’s peace and democracy.
On the issue of insufficient funds to make the CRC more effective in its work, the Minister of Justice noted that government was disappointed with the efforts by donors, thinking that they were going to support the bulk of the committee’s work.
However he commended them for what they have done so far to support the committee, but disclosed that Le 9.4 billion, which is an extra-budget from Government has been sourced to help take the work of the committee forward as they are already behind deadline.
Frank Kargbo assured the CRC and all the political parties of government’s free hand to members of the committee to carry out their mandate without interference.
All ten of the political parties registered in the country were given 10 minutes each to present a draft position paper on how they will like to see the constitution look like, after the review.
All of them gave different views, except for the APC Secretary- General Osman Yansaneh who informed the gathering that the APC were the authors of the 1991 constitution, therefore the party will not state any position but will rather let the people decide what they will want to see in the constitution after its review.
At the end of their presentation, they solemnly pledged to be committed to the process by involving and educating their constituents’ right through the review of the constitution.
The session had two facilitators who were very thorough during their various presentations.
Dr. Ramadan Dumbuya, a political scientist, made a presentation on the role of political parties in the CRC process, while Madam Yasmin Jusu- Sheriff, a lawyer of 30 years’ experience, presented a paper on women’s advocacy and gender equality.
By Ade Campbell
Friday June 27, 2014