Sierra Leone | Mid Week Review
Our country has the deepest tradition of written constitutionalism in West Africa, starting with the constitution fashioned by Granville Sharpe for the freed men and women of the Province of Freedom, to the Blackhall Constitution of 1863, the Slater Constitution of 1924 and the Stevensons Constitution of the 1950s. We gained independence with a constitution modeled along a monarchist Westminster model; we established a republican presidential system in 1971, a one party constitution in 1978 and reverted to a multi-party system in 1991. - President Koroma,
|Chairman of the Constitutional Review Committee Justice Edward Cowan|
"This is a committee constituted from people of every region, political affiliation and socio-economic group to perform a sacred task," said President Koroma at the launch on Tuesday, July 30.
"We expect this Constitutional Review Committee to host public consultations in ways that allow every citizen to make a contribution, "the president continued. "These consultations must not be centered within one specific area or region, but should span the length and breadth of Sierra Leone. The Committee should also take advantage of other technological developments and receive submissions electronically to encourage the widest possible public participation.
"We also urge all Sierra Leoneans, from every region, every district, ethnic group, and political and religious affiliation to support the process, fully participate in it, and take ownership of the review," the president said.
Earlier in the year, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Frank Kargbo explained that of the estimated 60-80 people on the Review Committee, the Koroma administration had incorporated six representatives from the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) and six representatives from the ruling All People's Congress (APC) party.
Last Wednesday, a week after the launch of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation reported that Chairman of the Constitutional Review Committee Justice Edward Cowan assured Sierra Leoneans that the review process will be inclusive. He was speaking at the inaugural CRC meeting held at the Committee’s Secretariat Youyi Building Brookfields. Cowan, a former Speaker of Parliament and current Ombudsman, is heading the committee which has 24 months to come up with a draft constitution that will be put to a referendum.
Burning questions two weeks on are: who is Justice Cowan heading? Who makes up the CRC?
And who is the secretariat’s Communications and Outreach officer, responsible for external communications, media relations, on-line public information and outreach to stakeholders in support of the CRC?