Parliament adjourns for Christmas

Parliament adjourns sine die today Friday , December 11, 2015 following the conclusion of deliberations on the State of the Nation Address (SONA). Whilst there’s no clear date on when it will open, it is expected to open early February 2016 in what is commonly know as the Budget Session.

When parliament convened for the SONA session, it was after prorogation, that is the end of the last session. Prorogation shouldn’t be confused with dissolution or normal adjournments or recesses for holidays or breaks. It means the end of a session, which normally lasts for about a year. Prorogation therefore means that parliament is still constituted with MPs still having their seats (i.e. no elections can be held as in the case of dissolution) but it causes all orders of the Assembly such as motions, Bills, questions, themes etc to be expunged or to fall off. Under normal recesses and adjournments, Bills, motions, questions or themes can resume exactly where they left off.

When Parliament resumed, it appeared that most MPs didn’t see or hear of any prorogation notification that would have caused them to submit questions, themes, bills, motions or any business. As a result, there are about 25 motions of one Member lined up for debate in the House. Every Friday since Parliament resumed, the House was seized with his motions and if this is not rectified somehow, it is probable that the whole budget session next year will be packed with his motions only. How he came to submit so many motions and before everybody remains a mystery to many. There have been two or three General Assembly meetings to attempt to discuss and resolve the issue but these flopped because of the quorum. It may be that MPs should resolve to amend the Standing Orders to allocate a quota of motions to MPs or find a way in which there can be equitable distribution of time for MPs business. If that doesn’t happen, there’s a risk that Parliament will be seized with one MP’s business to the detriment of others. There has to also be a formal standard way, acceptable to all MPs, of how prorogation notifications or communications are done, besides the usual Government Gazette.

Editor's Comment
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Well-wishers gathered at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport to bid our queen farewell and wish her success as she joins other beauties from around the globe for the coveted crown. Competing in such events is nerve-wracking, and one needs to be fully prepared to stand a chance of making it as a finalist.It is not just about physical fitness; mental state matters too. Unfortunately, sometimes our queens end up facing such fierce...

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