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Seychelles’ National Assembly prepares for momentous legislative year   |15 February 2024

The National Assembly of Seychelles will start its legislative year on Thursday February 22, 2024 in accordance with the parliament procedures. Ahead of this event, meticulous preparations are underway.

“Preparing for the opening of the parliament year of sitting are processes enshrined in our constitution, standing orders and parliament precedence and practices,” deputy clerk Alexandria Faure has told Seychelles NATION.

The discussion of the proceedings and how they will unravel were overseen by the business committee chaired by Speaker Roger Mancienne. The other members of the committee are the deputy speaker, leaders, chiefs chips, clerk and deputy clerk.

In line with the parliamentary procedures of the National Assembly of Seychelles, the parliament will be officially opened by Speaker Mancienne who will deliver an inaugural speech.

It will be followed by a solemn tribute to the esteemed late Honorable Rosie Bistoquet who passed away in December. This segment will take place from 2pm to 3pm.

“This will entail eulogies and speeches by the speaker, leaders, and members of the House, including the invitation of a family member coming to the floor of the House to be presented with the book of condolences,” explained Ms Faure.

“In a symbolic gesture of remembrance, the chair of the late Honorable member will be adorned with an array of flowers, transforming it into a symbol of her lasting legacy,” Ms Faure added.

After a technical break, the second segment will take place, which is the swearing-in ceremony of the new proportionately elected member of Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS), Anne Simone Bistoquet, at 4pm.

 It is important to note that the National Assembly is accustomed to the process of swearing in a new member. The parliamentary service has already started preparations to welcome the new member by carrying out meetings with her, preparing documents and files, ensuring the necessary equipment and resources are ready for her use.

“This includes preparing for her official photo, internal procedures, and her biography – providing the necessary internal documentation in order for her to carry out her role,” said the deputy clerk.

Further induction will take place to ensure she has a smooth onboarding as a member of the Assembly, added Ms Faure. “Soon after there will be instances where she may be appointed on committees and also participate in the life of the Assembly.”

The ceremony is typically presided over by the speaker of the National Assembly, who plays a crucial role in guiding the new members through their oath and welcoming them into the legislative fold.

Family members usually attend the event, and the general public will have access through the usual mode of media that is through the television broadcast and YouTube live streams. 

“The swearing-in is treated as an occasion that is founded on parliamentary traditions and has been planned to the minute to ensure a usual smooth process,” said deputy clerk Faure.

The House will then take another short break in preparation for the State-of-the-Nation address by the Head of State, President Wavel Ramkalawan, at 5pm, in accordance with Article 65(a) of the Constitution.

It should be noted that there is ongoing renovation work at the parliament building, which has focused primarily on upgrading cabling for enhanced internet services and bolstering ICT infrastructure.  

“The progress of the renovation work has been closely monitored, and it is on track to be completed in time for the start of the new parliamentary sessions,” she added.

According to Ms Faure there has been minor setbacks in the preparations for the new parliamentary sessions such as delays in equipment delivery, unforeseen technical issues and budgetary resources.

However, the deputy clerk has reassured Seychelles NATION that the National Assembly was proactively addressing these challenges.

“Mitigation plans are in place to swiftly resolve any outstanding issues and ensure that any setbacks do not disrupt the start of the parliamentary proceedings,” she stated.

“The focus remains on delivering a successful and productive start to the new session and we have a remarkable team of committed staff who are always on hand to deliver to the best of their ability,” she concluded


Anika Cathene

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