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Sierra Leone News: Bar Association hoping for free, fair elections

The Bar Prexy Rhoda Sufian-Kargbo Nuni

The Bar Prexy Rhoda Sufian-Kargbo Nuni

On Thursday 12 July 2017, the third female president of the Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA), Rhoda Sufian-Kargbo Nuni, said, “The Association is preparing to ensure the 2018 electoral processes are free, fair and peaceful to ensure continued stability in the country.” Nuni was re-elected at the association just concluded Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 6 and 7 July 2017.
The President said the major outcome of the AGM was a resolution to set up an implementation committee within 30 to 60 days to have a clear plan as to how they intend to be involved in the electoral plans. Nuni said, “Even as lawyers we remain the legal conscience of the people, we have to ensure that the electoral process is democratic. We need to ensure good governance is maintained during and after elections.”
She said another project they will be embarking on is construction the Association secretariat. She said they inherited that project from their predecessor whom had acquired a land at Belia Park.
The President of the SLBA said that as lawyers, even as they approach elections, they will be supporting the judiciary and the Chief Justice in their strides to make justice more speedy and efficient in the country.
She said, “We want the system to run quickly. We have an interest in speed, fairness and efficiency in the court processes. If justice is delayed our goal as lawyers as keepers of the judicial and legal conscience of the state will be defeated”.
Questioned on what she had been embarked on in previous year as President of the Association, Nuni said they have engaged in capacity training, and professional development.
She said they have been also linking with international sisters organization to benefit from what they have to offer and also for them to be more relevant locally, regionally and international and to continue to be the voice and legal conscience of the people of Sierra Leone.
She said as an Association they have been challenging issues that have to do with the right of people making reference to an issue they intervene in at kabala were demonstrators were killed.
Nuni said they were also focusing on internationalizing the Association. “We were members of the international Bar Association and also members of the African Bar Association long before now but our membership lapsed due to several reasons. Recently we renewed membership in both and we are active”.
On her challenges, she said their main challenge as an Association is funding. She said the only confirmed source is subscription from members.
Question on how it possible for her as a woman to be re-elected, Nuni said “being a president as a woman has nothing to do with me as a woman. The women in the Association are not even up to 30 percent. In my campaign, I play on my competent, skills and past experience and I was able to secure the support of both male and female colleagues”.
EK/13/7/17
By Emmanuella Kallon
Friday July 14, 2017.

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