Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice and observance. It includes the freedom to change one's religion or beliefs. Freedom of religion is considered by many people and most of the nations to be a fundamental human right. In a country with a state religion, freedom of religion is considered to mean that the government permits religious practices of other sects besides the state religion, does not persecute believers in other faiths. Freedom of belief is different, it allows the right to believe what a person, group or religion wishes, but it does not allow the right to practice the religion or belief and outwardly in a public manner. Freedom of religion has been used to refer to the tolerance of different theological systems of belief, while freedom of worship has been defined as freedom of individual action. Freedom from religion is a far more pressing moralistic and peaceful solution.
Each of these have existed to varying degrees. While many countries have accepted some form of religious freedom, this has often been limited in practice through punitive taxation, repressive social legislation, political disenfranchisement. Compare examples of individual freedom in Italy or the Muslim tradition of dhimmis "protected individuals" professing an tolerated non-Muslim religion. In Antiquity, a syncretic point of view allowed communities of traders to operate under their own customs; when street mobs of separate quarters clashed in a Hellenistic or Roman city, the issue was perceived to be an infringement of community rights. Cyrus the Great established the Achaemenid Empire ca. 550 BC, initiated a general policy of permitting religious freedom throughout the empire, documenting this on the Cyrus Cylinder. Some of the historical exceptions have been in regions where one of the revealed religions has been in a position of power: Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Islam. Others have been where the established order has felt threatened, as shown in the trial of Socrates in 399 BC or where the ruler has been deified, as in Rome, refusal to offer token sacrifice was similar to refusing to take an oath of allegiance.
This was the persecution of early Christian communities. Freedom of religious worship was established in the Buddhist Maurya Empire of ancient India by Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BC, encapsulated in the Edicts of Ashoka. Greek-Jewish clashes at Cyrene in 73 AD and 117 AD and in Alexandria in 115 AD provide examples of cosmopolitan cities as scenes of tumult; the Romans tolerated most religions, including Judaism and encouraged local subjects to continue worshipping their own gods. They did not however, tolerate Christianity until it was legalised by the Roman emperor Galerius in 311; the Edict of Milan guaranteed freedom of religion in the Roman Empire until the Edict of Thessalonica in 380, which outlawed all religions except Christianity. Following a period of fighting lasting around a hundred years before 620 AD which involved Arab and Jewish inhabitants of Medina, religious freedom for Muslims and pagans was declared by Muhammad in the Constitution of Medina; the Islamic Caliphate guaranteed religious freedom under the conditions that non-Muslim communities accept dhimmi status and their adult males pay the punitive jizya tax instead of the zakat paid by Muslim citizens.
Though Dhimmis were not given the same political rights as Muslims, they did enjoy equality under the laws of property and obligation. Religious pluralism existed in classical Islamic ethics and Sharia, as the religious laws and courts of other religions, including Christianity and Hinduism, were accommodated within the Islamic legal framework, as seen in the early Caliphate, Al-Andalus, Indian subcontinent, the Ottoman Millet system. In medieval Islamic societies, the qadi could not interfere in the matters of non-Muslims unless the parties voluntarily choose to be judged according to Islamic law, thus the dhimmi communities living in Islamic states had their own laws independent from the Sharia law, such as the Jews who would have their own Halakha courts. Dhimmis were allowed to operate their own courts following their own legal systems in cases that did not involve other religious groups, or capital offences or threats to public order. Non-Muslims were allowed to engage in religious practices that were forbidden by Islamic law, such as the consumption of alcohol and pork, as well as religious practices which Muslims found repugnant, such as the Zoroastrian practice of incestuous "self-marriage" where a man could marry his mother, sister or daughter.
According to the famous Islamic legal scholar Ibn Qayyim, non-Muslims had the right to engage in such religious practices if it offended Muslims, under the conditions that such cases not be presented to Islamic Sharia courts and that these religious minorities believed that the practice in question is permissible according to their religion. Despite Dhimmis enjoying special statuses under the Caliphates, they were not considered equals, sporadic persecutions of non-Muslim groups did occur in the history of the Caliphates. Ancient Jews fleeing from persecution in their homeland 2,500 years ago settled in India and never faced anti-Semitism. Freedom of religion edicts have been found written during Ashoka the Great's reign in the 3rd century BC. Freedom to practise and propagate any religion is a constitutional right in Modern India. Most major religious festivals of the main communities are included in
2012 Sierra Leonean general election
General elections were held in Sierra Leone on 17 November 2012. The result was a victory for incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People's Congress, who received 58.7% of the vote. The APC won 67 of the 112 elected seats in Parliament. In April 2007, incumbent Ernest Bai Koroma was chosen by the All People's Congress as their candidate, he was challenged by former President and general Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party. On July 31, 2011, Bio defeated Usman Boie Kamara for the party's nomination. In the elections for the twelve Chief seats in Parliament, only four were contested. Three seats were left vacant, with no election taking place in constituencies 5, 12 and 92; the election was delayed in Western Area Rural District due to the death of PMDC candidate, a by-election was held on 9 February 2013. The result was a victory for the APC candidate. Results showed Koroma winning in the first round of voting, receiving 58.7% of the vote against 37.4% for the SLPP candidate, Bio.
If he had received less than 55% of the vote, a second round would have been necessary. Following the announcement of results, Koroma was promptly sworn in for another term as President on 23 November 2012, he said that he would "continue to attract investment" and "continue to fight corruption"
Parliament of Sierra Leone
Parliament of Sierra Leone is the legislative branch of the government of Sierra Leone. It is principally responsible for making laws; the Sierra Leone parliament consists of 146 members, of which 132 members are directly elected from across Sierra Leone's 16 Districts. The Parliament is led by the Speaker; the current Speaker of Parliament is Abass Bundu. The current elected 132 Ordinary members of parliament are composed of members of the All People's Congress, the Sierra Leone People's Party which are the two largest political parties in Sierra Leone plus two other parties, the National Grand Coalition and the Coalition for Change and three Independent members who were not elected under any party; the Sierra Leone Parliament, like its counterparts in other former British colonies, began as a Legislative Council. It was inaugurated in 1863, but was renamed the House of Representatives in 1954; the first decade of Independence referred to as the golden age, was a momentous period in the country’s Parliamentary evolution.
When the British crown took management of the colony in 1808, no African was represented in the colony’s administration. By the mid nineteenth century, the Creoles were determined to have a say in government. A Committee of Correspondence, constituting a group of Creole businessmen was formed in 1853, was replaced by the Mercantile Association in 1858 with the primary objective of securing the right of political representation for Colony citizens. Petitions and newspapers to the Secretary of State for Colonies served as pressure, calling for a new constitution and an elected assembly for Sierra Leone. In the 1863 Constitution, the legislature was reorganized and inaugurated but with no provision made for popular representation; the current Sierra Leone Parliament owes its origin to colonial constitutional developments dating as far back as to 1863 when attempts were made by the British colonial authorities to put in place Legislative and Executive Councils. However, these two councils were established.
The Executive Council constituted the following: the Governor, the Chief Justice, Queen’s Advocate, Colony Secretary and the Officer Commanding Troops. These were known as the Official Members; the unofficial members were known as Charles Heddle, a European African and John Ezzidio a Sierra Leonean. Both the official and unofficial members constituted the Legislative Council, responsible for enacting Laws for the colony, but too much of executive powers were vested in the Governor. Due to riots and strikes by railway workers more anti-colonial pressure was mounted, which led to the formation of the National Congress for West Africa in 1920 with men like F. W Dove, a business man and H. C Bankole Bright, a Medical Doctor; this congress demanded the following: a party elected legislative council in each colony – this however met with failure when the delegation was sent to London to press for action. The protectorate by was regarded as a foreign country; this historic process was ongoing when the governor came into the scene by the name of Sir Ransford Slater.
He was prepared to concede to the demand for popular representation but to him it was absurd to have a legislator for both colony and protectorate. To satisfy their demands, Governor Slater planned a new constitution in 1924 which conceded the elective principles for colony, with some protectorate representation by chiefs. Under the tribal system no other would have adequate title to speak with authority. Membership of the legislature was increased to 21 with 3 paramount chiefs. From the 21 Members, 11 were appointed by the Government added to 10 unofficial Members. Out of the 10 unofficial Members, were 5 Colony Representatives elected from among the educated Creole elites and the 3 Paramount Chiefs from the Protectorate nominated by the Governor; this registered a significant development for African representation in the Legislative Assembly. In 1951 further constitutional development was made by Governor Beresford Stoke, which increased the Paramount Chiefs representation in the Legislative assembly to 12, for each district, a practice that prevails today.
In the SLPP victory in 1951 election, some members were appointed to the Executive council. In 1954, The leader of the party Sir Milton Margai was made Chief Minister and the other members of the council became ministers. After independence in 1961, Sierra Leone Parliament continued to evolve, it became a elected body. By the office was located at the mechanized section of the Treasury Building, located at George Street in Freetown, our first parliamentary building. Apart from the Paramount Chiefs that were indirectly elected through an Electoral College System, all Members of Parliament were elected by an electoral system, based on a single member constituency; the defining parameter for the delimitation of electoral boundaries was population quota, based on the most recent census results. Up to 1967, the SLPP, the majority in Parliament, constituted the Executive. In 1968, after the controversial 1967 elections, the All Peoples Congress commanded the majority in Parliament. Under the leadership of Siaka Stevens, The APC government undertook certain constitutional reforms that altered the British set-up of the Sierra Leone Parliament.
In 1971, Sierra Leone assumed a republican status with an Executive Presidency that doubled as Head of State and Government. Parliament was most profoundly affected by this constitutional adjustment; the implication was that the Parliament would no longer be involved
Districts of Sierra Leone
The provinces of Sierra Leone are divided into 16 districts, as of July 2017. The country was divided into 14 districts; the Western Area is divided into two districts. Sierra Leone's capital Freetown is located in the Western Area of the country and its makes up the Western Area Urban District. One traditional leader from each district occupies a seat in Sierra Leone's parliament; each one of Sierra Leone's sixteen administrative districts is governed by a directly elected district council headed by a council chairman. The national capital Freetown, which makes up the Western Area Urban District, is governed by a directly elected city council headed by a mayor; the districts are further divided into a total of 190 chiefdoms, whose elected leaders provided most of local government from 1896 to 2004, when they were supplemented by elected local councils. Subdivisions of Sierra Leone
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Sierra Leone)
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone is a cabinet minister in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, responsible for conducting foreign relations of the country. The following is a list of foreign ministers of Sierra Leone since its founding in 1961: Rulers.org – Foreign ministers S–Z
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments. Laws enacted by legislatures are known as primary legislation. Legislatures observe and steer governing actions and have exclusive authority to amend the budget or budgets involved in the process; the members of a legislature are called legislators. In a democracy, legislators are most popularly elected, although indirect election and appointment by the executive are used for bicameral legislatures featuring an upper chamber. Names for national legislatures include "parliament", "congress", "diet", "assembly", depending on country; each chamber of the legislature consists of a number of legislators who use some form of parliamentary procedure to debate political issues and vote on proposed legislation. There must be a certain number of legislators present to carry out these activities; some of the responsibilities of a legislature, such as giving first consideration to newly proposed legislation, are delegated to committees made up of a few of the members of the chamber.
The members of a legislature represent different political parties. Legislatures vary in the amount of political power they wield, compared to other political players such as judiciaries and executives. In 2009, political scientists M. Steven Fish and Matthew Kroenig constructed a Parliamentary Powers Index in an attempt to quantify the different degrees of power among national legislatures; the German Bundestag, the Italian Parliament, the Mongolian State Great Khural tied for most powerful, while Myanmar's House of Representatives and Somalia's Transitional Federal Assembly tied for least powerful. Some political systems follow the principle of legislative supremacy, which holds that the legislature is the supreme branch of government and cannot be bound by other institutions, such as the judicial branch or a written constitution; such a system renders the legislature more powerful. In parliamentary and semi-presidential systems of government, the executive is responsible to the legislature, which may remove it with a vote of no confidence.
On the other hand, according to the separation of powers doctrine, the legislature in a presidential system is considered an independent and coequal branch of government along with both the judiciary and the executive. Legislatures will sometimes delegate their legislative power to administrative or executive agencies. Legislatures are made up of individual members, known as legislators. A legislature contains a fixed number of legislators. For example, a legislature that has 100 "seats" has 100 members. By extension, an electoral district that elects a single legislator can be described as a "seat", as, example, in the phrases "safe seat" and "marginal seat". A legislature may debate and vote upon bills as a single unit, or it may be composed of multiple separate assemblies, called by various names including legislative chambers, debate chambers, houses, which debate and vote separately and have distinct powers. A legislature which operates as a single unit is unicameral, one divided into two chambers is bicameral, one divided into three chambers is tricameral.
In bicameral legislatures, one chamber is considered the upper house, while the other is considered the lower house. The two types are not rigidly different, but members of upper houses tend to be indirectly elected or appointed rather than directly elected, tend to be allocated by administrative divisions rather than by population, tend to have longer terms than members of the lower house. In some systems parliamentary systems, the upper house has less power and tends to have a more advisory role, but in others presidential systems, the upper house has equal or greater power. In federations, the upper house represents the federation's component states; this is a case with the supranational legislature of the European Union. The upper house may either contain the delegates of state governments – as in the European Union and in Germany and, before 1913, in the United States – or be elected according to a formula that grants equal representation to states with smaller populations, as is the case in Australia and the United States since 1913.
Tricameral legislatures are rare. Tetracameral legislatures no longer exist, but they were used in Scandinavia. Legislatures vary in their size. Among national legislatures, China's National People's Congress is the largest with 2 980 members, while Vatican City's Pontifical Commission is the smallest with 7. Neither legislature is democratically elected: the National People's Congress is indirectly elected. Legislature size is a trade off between representation. Comparative analysis of national legislatures has found that size of a country's lower house tends to be proportional to the cube root of its population.
A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy, it is a form of government. In the context of American constitutional law, the definition of republic refers to a form of government in which elected individuals represent the citizen body and exercise power according to the rule of law under a constitution, including separation of powers with an elected head of state, referred to as a constitutional republic or representative democracy; as of 2017, 159 of the world’s 206 sovereign states use the word “republic” as part of their official names – not all of these are republics in the sense of having elected governments, nor is the word “republic” used in the names of all nations with elected governments. While heads of state tend to claim that they rule only by the “consent of the governed”, elections in some countries have been found to be held more for the purpose of “show” than for the actual purpose of in reality providing citizens with any genuine ability to choose their own leaders.
The word republic comes from the Latin term res publica, which means “public thing,” “public matter,” or “public affair” and was used to refer to the state as a whole. The term developed its modern meaning in reference to the constitution of the ancient Roman Republic, lasting from the overthrow of the kings in 509 B. C. to the establishment of the Empire in 27 B. C; this constitution was characterized by a Senate composed of wealthy aristocrats and wielding significant influence. Most a republic is a single sovereign state, but there are sub-sovereign state entities that are referred to as republics, or that have governments that are described as “republican” in nature. For instance, Article IV of the United States Constitution "guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government". In contrast, the former Soviet Union, which described itself as being a group of “Republics” and as a “federal multinational state composed of 15 republics”, was viewed as being a totalitarian form of government and not a genuine republic, since its electoral system was structured so as to automatically guarantee the election of government-sponsored candidates.
The term originates from the Latin translation of Greek word politeia. Cicero, among other Latin writers, translated politeia as res publica and it was in turn translated by Renaissance scholars as "republic"; the term politeia can be translated as form of government, polity, or regime and is therefore not always a word for a specific type of regime as the modern word republic is. One of Plato's major works on political science was titled Politeia and in English it is thus known as The Republic. However, apart from the title, in modern translations of The Republic, alternative translations of politeia are used. However, in Book III of his Politics, Aristotle was the first classical writer to state that the term politeia can be used to refer more to one type of politeia: "When the citizens at large govern for the public good, it is called by the name common to all governments, government". Amongst classical Latin, the term "republic" can be used in a general way to refer to any regime, or in a specific way to refer to governments which work for the public good.
In medieval Northern Italy, a number of city states had signoria based governments. In the late Middle Ages, writers such as Giovanni Villani began writing about the nature of these states and the differences from other types of regime, they used terms such as a free people, to describe the states. The terminology changed in the 15th century as the renewed interest in the writings of Ancient Rome caused writers to prefer using classical terminology. To describe non-monarchical states writers, most Leonardo Bruni, adopted the Latin phrase res publica. While Bruni and Machiavelli used the term to describe the states of Northern Italy, which were not monarchies, the term res publica has a set of interrelated meanings in the original Latin; the term can quite be translated as "public matter". It was most used by Roman writers to refer to the state and government during the period of the Roman Empire. In subsequent centuries, the English word "commonwealth" came to be used as a translation of res publica, its use in English was comparable to how the Romans used the term res publica.
Notably, during The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell the word commonwealth was the most common term to call the new monarchless state, but the word republic was in common use. In Polish the term was translated as rzeczpospolita, although the translation is now only used with respect to Poland. Presently, the term "republic" means a system of government which derives its power from the people rather than from another basis, such as heredity or divine right. While the philosophical terminology developed in classical Greece and Rome, as noted by Aristotle there was a long history of city states with a wide variety of constitutions, not only in Greece but in the Middle East. After the classical period, during the Middle Ages, many free cities developed again, such as Venice; the modern type of "republic" itself is different from any type of state found in the c