Seminar aims to instil appreciation for legislative independence, oversight

March 4, 2018 11:46 am
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In a bid to promote a bipartisan approach to parliamentary business and close ranks among both the Majority and the Minority, the program has slotted in a session on ‘Striking an optimal balance between the Welfare of the Nation and Routine Politics.’/CFM

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – Members of the National Assembly are next week expected to converge in Mombasa for the second Post-Election evaluation seminar organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

The three day seminar which kicks off on Monday comes hot on the heels of a hotly contested presidential election which included a fresh election after in an unprecedented ruling by the Supreme Court the results on the August 8 election.

The Opposition which successfully petitioned President Kenyatta’s victory however boycotted the fresh election which was marked by a low turnout.

Parliament has not been left out of this high voltage politics after majority of the National Super Alliance’s MPs failed to show up for the inauguration of the 12th Parliament by President Uhuru Kenyatta and even boycotted the vetting of nominees to the positions of Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Ambassador amid as a demonstration of their refusal to recognise the Jubilee administration.

The Post-Election Seminar whose guest speakers will be the Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia Justice Patrick Matibini and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Karimulla Akbar Khan, commences on Sunday and runs up to Thursday in Mombasa County.

“Elections as a demonstration of democracy have the potential to bring a tremendous diversity of backgrounds to our Commonwealth Parliaments. This necessitates the need for Members  to receive induction and development to enable them to get to grip with discharging their representatives and constitutional functions . The next few days will provide an excellent opportunity and a forum for Members of the National Assembly to engage with their colleagues from across the Commonwealth and to learn from their experiences and practices. The CPA Post-Election Seminars are of immense value for helping to nurture Parliaments from across the Commonwealth,” said Khan.

The seminar is timely because it is expected to provide a platform for MPs to deal and interact with matters of parliamentary practice and procedure which they might not otherwise have been dealt with in other settings including during the inaugural induction workshop.

In a bid to promote a bipartisan approach to parliamentary business and close ranks among both the Majority and the Minority, the program has slotted in a session on ‘Striking an optimal balance between the Welfare of the Nation and Routine Politics.’

“Almost eight years since re-introduction of a bicameral parliament and a presidential system of governance, we have been presented with the need to re-look at procedures and operations of parliament. Indeed, the Eleventh Parliament saw the re-engineering of most of the operations to conform to the newly adopted systems. It is on this background that the National Assembly seeks to conduct the seminar to offer an in-depth and comparative analysis of parliamentary and governance systems.

“I wish to encourage all Members to make time and attend this seminar as it will be crucial for them to appraise themselves with the trends within the Commonwealth jurisdiction,” noted National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi in a communication on the event.

The convention seeks to provide legislators with a better understanding of parliamentary and democratic systems and processes.

The forum will also put in focus conversations around the role of Parliament in the Budget Making Process, the person of the Member of Parliament and their place in the society, as well as how the National Assembly can develop strong working relationships with the Senate and other arms of government without compromising its independence.

The newly elected MPs will also hear from a range of experts including CPA Vice-Chairman and Member of the Federal Parliament of Canada Alexandra Mendes, Kenyan born Australian Senator Lucy Gichuhi, and Tom Duncan, the Clerk of Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory.

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