Assembly votes for review in CAA appointment


26-July-2013

The CAA is the body which names constitutional appointees such as judges, the electoral commissioner, ombudsman and the auditor general.

This came through a motion presented by the leader of government business in the Assembly, Marie-Antoinette Rose, during Tuesday’s sitting.
Presenting the motion, Ms Rose said that at a time when work is ongoing to revise the Constitution of Seychelles, the motion was a very important and historic one.

She said it was essential in a modern democracy for the National Assembly to review the Constitution in order to reply to the aspirations of the Seychellois people.

She explained that it was thus necessary for the Assembly to address further dysfunctions as permitted by article 102 of the Constitution.
Among the ill practices where redress is needed, Ms Rose mentioned that as some autonomous institutions never made themselves accountable for their actions, it was necessary for them to present an annual report to the Assembly, in the same way as the President’s state-of-the-nation address or the auditor general’s report.

She also asked that all details pertaining to the functioning mechanisms of the CAA are published and made public.
Most importantly, she moved that the present three-member CAA -- of which two members are nominated by the two main political parties in the National Assembly and who in turn nominate a chairperson -- becomes a five-member authority to include one from the bar association and another from the civil society.

She said that in present circumstances, the chairperson has too much power as he or she has the decisive voting right in case of disagreement among the two other members.
Kevin Vidot, the elected MNA for English River who seconded the motion and all other members who took the floor, spoke in favour of the change.

They said that it was time for the Assembly to exert its real power and by means of motions propose changes as guaranteed by the Constitution.

They argued that like parliament has to approve ministerial appointments, it should also have a say in constitutional appointments.
They also reminded that the Assembly has the power to investigate and vote out a public commissioner upon recommendations made by a tribunal named by the Speaker.

Agreeing that criteria for constitutional appointments should not only include qualification and experience but also honesty, integrity and freedom from political consideration, all members present voted in favour of the motion.

At Tuesday’s sitting, the National Assembly also voted in favour of another motion brought by the elected member for Takamaka, Alderic Bristol, asking that the government seriously considers installing mini sewage treatment plants at housing estates with the aim of having a more efficient and economically friendly treatment and disposal system.

 

 

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