IEC SHOULD SEEK LEGAL ADVICE BEFORE DEMARCATION OF CONSTITUENCIES IEC Cannot Demarcate Constituencies Until There Is Constitutional Amendment

There is a legal notice that Kombo North, Kombo Central , SerreKunda Central and Serrekunda East are to be demarcated by the IEC.

After Bishop Tilewa Johnson relied on Section 50 of the original version of the Constitution to demarcate constituencies in 2000, he was removed from office and the constitution amended to create a Constituency Boundaries Commission in 2001. His demarcation was rendered null and void.

Since then no Constituency Boundaries Commission was established. Now the IEC is relying on a transitional provision to demarcate constituencies.

Section 50 Subsection (3) reads:

“Until the National Assembly establishes a Boundaries Commission under subsection ( l ), the constituencies as prescribed in Part II of the First Schedule to the Elections Act, 1996, and any additional constituencies, required for the purposes of section 88 (1) (a), demarcated by the Independent Electoral Commission in consultation with the appropriate Ministry shall be deemed to be constituencies for the purpose of returning members to the National Assembly under that section.”

The contradiction is however very clear. While the demarcation envisaged would increase the Constituencies to 53, Section 88 Subsection (1) (a) of the Constitution states that  “The National Assembly shall comprise –

  • Forty-eight members elected from the constituencies demarcated by the Boundaries Commission;”

Hence Section 88 provides for 48 constituencies. The Constituencies cannot be increased to 53 without a Constitutional Amendment.