The President should account to Parliament

This week, the Member of Parliament for Selebi Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse revealed that he planned to table a motion for the enactment of a law that will compel the President to attend parliament proceedings. His call comes a week after MP for Gaborone Central Phenyo Butale challenged President Ian Khama to attend parliamentary proceedings.

We agree with Keorapetse that the President should be forced, legally, to attend Parliament and be accountable to parliamentarians. Besides, the Constitution of Botswana recognises the President as an ex officio member of the House. In fact it is Members of Parliament (MPs) that elected the President. It is odd that the current President hardly attends Parliament to debate issues with MPs. This has always been President Ian Khama’s mondus operandi since he joined politics more than 15 years ago. 

It is important for the President to participate in parliamentary debates so he is accountable to the electorate and engages MPs. A good example is the South African parliamentary system, where the constitution prescribes that the President should account to Parliament and answer question from MPs at least four times a year.

Editor's Comment
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