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Madi Jobateh: The new SOE declaration is unconstitutional

Madi Jobateh
Human rights Activist

1. The President has no power to make more than 1 SOE declaration one after the other consecutively without parliamentary approval in between. Having declared an SOE on May 19 to expire on June 9 cannot be extended unless approved by the National Assembly;

In other words the President has no power to extend his own SOE declaration. When a current SOE declaration expires only the National Assembly can extend it.

2. The President has power to issue an SOE declaration only once at the first instance whether the National Assembly is sitting or not. This was done on March 18 and extended on April 3 by the National Assembly.

3. The next time the President can issue an SOE declaration on his own is when the National is not sitting or when sessions have ended. He did that on May 19.

In a nutshell, anytime the President makes an SOE declaration it cannot be extended the next time by him alone but he has to have the approval of the National Assembly.

Therefore the May 19 SOE declaration which expired on June 9 require parliamentary approval for its extension. If the National Assembly is not sitting then they must be called in an emergency session to sit over the motion to extend the SOE. This was actually done when the National Assembly was recalled to sit from May 15 to 18 to decide an extension which was rejected.

Therefore this declaration today is utterly unconstitutional and must be thrown out!

Stand against undemocratic practices under the cover of combating COVID 19.

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