Charles Margai Questions Blyden
Hon. Blyden Responds to Margai’s Questions
Dear Uncle Charles,
I have noted your four questions posed to me. Sir, please allow me to respectfully answer them.
- The answer to your first question Sir is YES! Indeed as the de-facto national leader of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) at that time, I closely followed the debates around how to handle the expiration of the tenure of presidency of our former President, the late Alhaji Tejan Kabbah (R.I.P.). The debates spanned from July/August 2001 and peaked between September and November 2001. They finally culminated in YOU and your colleagues in the SLPP Cabinet sending that Constitutional amendment bill to Parliament. Back then, I enjoyed the arguments put forward then by your very self against the strong calls for an “Interim Government of National Unity” to fill the gap that would have occurred when late Walter Nicol, the Elections boss, made it clear he would not be able to arrange all what needed to be arranged before the general elections that was then due. I am quite au fait with all what transpired until that amendment was passed. I am not a political novice by any calculation. Only a handful of persons still dismiss my political stature in this country. You call me naive but I respectfully disagree with you on that Sir.
- The answer to your second question is the same as the first question. YES Sir.
- The answer to your third question is YES Sir. That is why I have quoted extensively from the Constitution to justify my arguments.
- The answer to your fourth question is NO. No Sir, the prevailing security situation is not the same but I honestly don’t see the relevance of this question because, when YOU as an SLPP Cabinet Minister in the year 2001, developed that White Paper for Parliament, you had the option to make it with a time limit so that it only applied to that time period. However, you did not. You made it perpetual meaning it is still valid and when taken in consonance with Section 164 of Public Elections Act, clearly the NEC Chairman was fully within the Constitution to announce March 7th 2018 for next Presidential Elections. The Holy Bible says: ‘Your works shall follow you’ and indeed your work in amending the Constitution in 2001 is following you Sir into 2017.
Finally Sir, with reference to the misleading, unfounded, dangerous and highly seditious criticism by your PMDC party of His Excellency President Koroma, I have just two questions for you Sir being you are the PMDC Leader. My first question is this:
Considering that you conveniently ‘forgot’ what Section 87.(1) of the Constitution says about when to conduct Parliamentary Elections, don’t you think you owe a Public Apology to President Koroma for painting him black without legitimate cause?
My second question for you is that, since we all now agree that there was no breach of the Constitution by our President, can you tell me whether it is not appropriate for the President to seek redress under the 1965 Public Order Act for your grossly seditious libel against him?
I rest my pen.
Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden.