By Mohamed Jaward Nyallay
Following a very tense election last month, the 6th Parliament has a new configuration. And over the next five years, this configuration will not change given that Sierra Leone is now using Proportional Representation for Parliamentary and local council elections.
A Glimpse of the 5th Parliament
There were 132 seats in the 5th Parliament, which ushered in Members of Parliament from All People’s Congress, Sierra Leone People’s Party, National Grand Coalition, Coalition for Change, and three Independent MPs.
The 6th Parliament now has three more seats, taking it to 135 seats; add that to the 14 Paramount Chief MP seats it will take the total seats to 149.
How Are the Seats Distributed?
As per the threshold set by the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone, parties or candidates must get 11.9% of the votes from a district to get a seat in Parliament.
Following the conduct of the election – the Sierra Leone People’s Party has 81 seats; All People’s Congress now has 54 seats.
The biggest losers are C4C and NGC who last all their 12 seats combined. All the Independent Candidates in the last parliament are also MPs but are now under SLPP. This means, no Independent Candidate won.
How Many Survived the 5th Parliament?
In total 76 MPs from the 5th Parliament were re-elected to the 6th Parliament, which is a 52% retention rate. According to Institute for Governance Reform, this is the highest retention rate in Parliament since 2002. But there are still 70 of the MPs coming in who are new.
Examining Specific Constituencies
Kambia experienced the highest rate of attrition, with only 1 out of the previous 4 MPs managing to retain their seats. With the addition of two more seats to Kambia, the district now has a total of 6 MPs, with only 1 of them being a returning member, representing a 17% retention rate.
On the other hand, Kailahun boasted the highest retention rate of MPs from the 2018 election, with 80% of the incumbents successfully securing their seats, leaving only two new MPs to join the ranks out of 10 seats.
Despite the influx of new faces, the Parliament can still rely on the considerable experience retained within its ranks. As Sierra Leone moves forward with its new configuration, it remains to be seen how this diverse assembly will navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
This public education story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.
The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.
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