WINDHOEK - Leader of the official opposition PDM, McHenry Venaani, has called for action against non-participation in parliamentary debate by some MPs, saying the house currently has parliamentarians who have virtually been warming up parliamentary benches over the past four years.
He said some parliamentarians have over the past four years only contributed once or twice to debates and they are a disservice to their constituencies.
Venaani said this yesterday when responding to New Era questions as to what should be done about truant MPs who fail to show up in parliament, thus forcing the speaker to postpone proceedings on several occasions.
“The biggest issue in our National Assembly is the fact that we have increased from 72 to 98 but the majority of those whose numbers were increased are half of the time very quiet. Yes, the issue of truancy must be addressed, but the biggest issue of non-participation must also be addressed,” said the outspoken leader of the official opposition.
“We are sitting with an idle parliament – if PDM does not really keep parliament on its toes the rest of many MPs will rarely speak once on the budget, or never. The ruling party MPs are quiet, half of them are quiet, it must be put on record; the only Swapo MPs that are busy are the executive, others are quiet,” he added.
Venaani says if one asks the question whether there was a need to increase parliament the answer is a straight no.
“There is no effectiveness in the house, there is no robust debate in the house, so those are some of the issues, you just don’t send someone to the house to come and sit idle.”
Furthermore, Venaani accuses Swapo MPs of truancy.
President Hage Geingob during his official opening of the 9th session of the 6th parliament on Wednesday expressed hope that parliament would this year not face the challenge of a lack of quorum.
But in a year declared as one of accountability, Geingob said MPs must deliver on their law-making promises and help lift the country rid itself of challenges that partly exist because of lack of laws or the presence of archaic ones.
There are 104 members in the National Assembly, as per the country’s constitution. The composition of the National Assembly shall be 96 elected members (voting members) and eight non-voting members, appointed by the President as per the constitution.
Voting members of the National Assembly are elected based on party lists and every National Assembly sits for a maximum period of five years.
2019-02-15 09:37:34 3 months ago