Parliamentary Committees: Will they be effective?

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The stand-off between the ruling party and the Opposition in Parliament over Parliamentary committees, including inter-Parliamentary committees, has been somewhat resolved.

The boycott and suspension of participation in committees by the Opposition paid off, especially the non-participation in inter-Parliamentary committees. The ruling party got the message that they don’t have a right to do as they please simply because they are the governing party. 

Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) had at the beginning of the 11th Parliament boycotted and suspended participation in Parliamentary committees, citing the nomenclature of committees which they contended was skewed in favour of the ruling party. They argued that this would seriously compromise Parliamentary oversight of the executive because, at the time, the governing party chaired all 23 committees except two. It was also well represented in inter-Parliamentary committees and slotted the Opposition in only those which required Opposition representation. The ruling party reasoned that they were the majority party in the House and that representation in committees was proportionate with representation in parliament.

Editor's Comment
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