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National Assembly

National Assembly – Seventh cohort |23 February 2024

National Assembly – Seventh cohort

peaker Mancienne joins National Assembly members, clerk and deputy clerk for a souvenir photo (Photo: National Assembly)

‘Despite tragedies, 2023 should also be celebrated,’ says Speaker


Despite the tragedies recorded, the year 2023 should also be celebrated, said SpeakerRoger Mancienne.

He was speaking at the reopening of the National Assembly yesterday afternoon in the absence of United Seychelles (US) party members. This was done in accordance with Seychelles’ parliamentary procedure.

When welcoming the members, Speaker Mancienne said although they were resuming their work after some tragic events late last year, which included the death of a colleague and the December 7 disasters, 2023 should also be celebrated for the work done.

Speaker Mancienne said since they started their mandate on October 28, 2020 the parliament has played its role in the country’s governance and his wish is to see it continue along that same line, so they would remain faithful to the people.

“The assembly has filled in its constitutional role towards the country. We passed laws needed for our country’s governance. We brought forth questions on policies and programmes of the executive and adopted motions that covered the assembly’s point of views and suggestions on national issues,” said Speaker Mancienne.

Last year, there were 32 laws passed, 237 questions put to ministers and 30 motions were tabled, and committees were more active and engaged, said the speaker.

He also commended the administrative work, which he said is bound to improve this year, following the allocation of additional funds in the budget, which would cover five additional posts to employ secretaries and other administrative staff.

Among their work for 2024, Mr Mancienne invited members of the National Assembly (MNAs) to consider a proposal of a constitutional review that came out of last year’s symposium on the occasion of their 30th anniversary to increase the number of proportionately elected members in relation to the number of directly elected members.

“I have reflected on the proposal and I believe it has true merit. The leadership role of the speaker and deputy speaker within the assembly should always be filled by proportionate members instead of elected members of a district. This could also be applicable to the leader of the opposition and leader of government business. Because all those leaders have a national mandate, they should be free to focus on their roles without having the responsibility of a district,” explained Mr Mancienne.

“On the other hand, an elected member of a district should be able to devote his or her time to her constituency instead of spending more time in the national role,” he added.

Speaker Mancienne explained that having more proportionate members will also allow political parties to have the opportunity to balance their representation in the House, with regard to the number of women and young people as well as representation of special groups, thus giving the parliament a more “democratic representation.”

He said although the proposal could lead to criticism from the public who would see it as additional expenditures, they should be looking at what it can do for the country’s democracy.

Touching on the controversy over the issue of remuneration for Constitutional appointees in the National Assembly, Speaker Mancienne stated that money spent on the country’s governing system is a fundamental necessity that no one should regret.

He said the institution should be able to attract capable and competent men and women to fill in those roles with professionalism and honesty.

“It will be a weakness to our democracy to allow constitutional posts to lose their status in relation to other professions in other branches of government or in the public sector,” said the speaker.

“Sometimes people denigrate politics and politicians but we depend on a political system to lead the country and we need to give it its due respect and we need good people everywhere to serve our democracy,” he added.

With regard to this year’s work, Speaker Mancienne reiterated his call for members to table more private members’ bills, despite recognising how it was a difficult and complex task that needs resources, time and expertise.

 He also highlighted the need to maintain the parliament’s autonomy from the other two branches of government, namely the executive and judiciary.


Patsy Canaya

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