One of Sierra Leone’s finest Economist, Prince Jacob Macauley, has finally decided to go to the Supreme Court for interpretation of section 41 of the country ‘s 1991 Constitution, which deals with the eligibility of interested persons to contest for the position of President. Section 41 lays down the requisite qualifications for persons desirous of contesting for the position of President of Sierra Leone.
It could be recalled that Prince Jacob Macauley recently wrote a letter to the President, Chief Justice, Speaker of Parliament and other relevant authorities expressing his concern over the said provision in the Constitution, which, in his view, provides for an Independent Candidate to contest for the position of President (Section 41 d refers), though no one had taken advantage of the said provision. Since writing to the authorities on his desire to take the opportunity provided by the said section, he has had no response on the said matter and he is now left with no option but to take the matter to the Supreme Court for interpretation of the said section.
See Section 41 of the 1991 Constitution:
- No person shall be qualified for election as President unless he— is a citizen of Sierra Leone;
- is a member of a political party; has attained the age of forty years; and
d. is otherwise qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament.
Prince Macauley maintained that as an independent candidate who does not wish to belong to any political party, it is his right, according to d. of the above Constitutional provision to contest for the Presidency. In the above section, an intending candidate should be a Sierra Leonean, has attained the age of forty and is otherwise qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament. In his view, the above section suggests that one cannot be a member of a Political Party to contest for the Presidency, as long as that individual is otherwise qualified to be a Member of Parliament.
The fact that no one had ever tried to contest as an Independent Candidate for the Presidency does not mean that an Independent Candidate cannot contest for the seat. The above section suggests, in his view, that d. is an alternative for a person who does not belong to any Political Party and does not in any way wish to be one, but wishes to contest for that seat, is qualified to do, except the Supreme Court of the land states otherwise.
Prince Macauley has been a fervent exponent of prudent economic policies and has severally criticized the policies of the current Bank Governor, which has brought the country to its knees. On every action taken by the Bank Governor, Prince had given his own view on what should have been done. He had predicted all the catastrophes that have befallen the country through the failed economic policies of the Bank Governor and are known to be a reliable reference on economic policies. His criticisms and predictions of the fate of the economy if those policies are implemented have earned him the respect of many Sierra Leoneans, who see him as the right man to turn the fortunes of the country around, as in the current situation that the country is in, only an expert with a proven understanding of the way economies run can transform the nation and bring sanity to the economy.
That aside, Prince Macauley is determined to go to the Supreme Court for Interpretation of the said section 41. D. Some political analysts agree with him that the said section offers every Sierra Leonean above the age of 40 years and qualified to be a Member of Parliament, to contest for the Presidency. They also agree with him that one does not have to belong to a political party to contest for the Presidency, especially if one has the relevant support from the populace to do so. To insinuate otherwise is to infringe on his right to contest for that position, which is a complete violation of his constitutional right that is enshrined in the country’s constitution.