The President of Sierra Leone has dismissed Alhaji Chief Samuel Sam Sumana as Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. In a press statement dated 17th March 2015, President Koroma writes that the constitution gives him the right to remove the VP, as Sam Sumana’s expulsion from the All People’s Congress means he no longer meets “the continuous requirement to hold office”. The statement also says that the Vice President’s attempt to seek asylum from a “foreign embassy demonstrates a willingness to abandon his duties and office as Vice President”.
It has been 11 days since the Vice President was expelled from the ruling APC party. According to the political party’s constitution expelled members have 30 days to appeal such a decision. Last week the Vice President who self quarantined for 21 days after one of his guards died of ebola announced via a radio interview that he intended to appeal his decision as soon as his quarantine was over which is not until this weekend.
As of today March 18 2014, Sam Sumana is no longer Vice President of Sierra Leone by presidential decree however, section 41(b) of the 1991 constitution does not state that the political party membership is a continuous requirement. Section 41 (b) lays down the requirements for both President and Vice President at the time of election which is as follow;
The constitution also grants the right to impeach or remove a sitting President or Vice President for the following reasons; mental, or physical incapacity or misconduct. It then explains that parliament should have a committee to investigate the matter, and a vote shall be taken (section 50-51). The constitution does not grant the President the right to remove the Vice President in any case whatsoever.
A new Vice President will be named and appointed shortly, after the President says he has consulted with this party for potential candidates.