14 Feb 2017 19:30pm
WINDHOEK, 14 FEB (NAMPA) President Hage Geingob has called on Members of Parliament (MPs) to embrace the principles of accountability and transparency as they carry out their day-to-day functions.
Geingob said this on Tuesday during the opening of the Fifth Session of the Sixth Parliament under the theme Parliament working towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.
The Head of State explained that holding principles of accountability will assist them to maintain the trust of the electorate, as accountability plus transparency equals trust.
In the spirit of self-sacrifice, devotion and loyalty to upholding the interests of the electorate, let us this year rededicate ourselves to maintaining the quorum of Parliament, Geingob said.
For Bills to be tabled, discussed and passed, the National Assembly must form a quorum with 26 out of 96 voting members present, excluding the eight MPs appointed by the President.
The National Council maintains a quorum with 14 out of 42 MPs present.
Geingob called for an orderly Parliament in 2017 to demonstrate honesty and commitment that reflects as a positive output for the whole of Namibia.
He reminded MPs that they are expected to perform a variety of functions, which include ensuring executive accountability, law making, and controlling the national budget constituency functions.
Geingob said the tabling and passing of Bills depend on their ability and commitment towards unity across all political affiliations and across the three organs of State the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
He urged them to work hard by engaging in respectful debates regarding proposed legislation, so that the passed laws are aimed at improving the lives of Namibians.
A total of 40 Bills are expected to be tabled this year, including the Combating of Abuse of Drugs Bill; Education Bill; Financial Institutions and Market Bill; Micro Lending Bill; Namibian Property Practitioners Bill; and Trafficking in Persons Bill.
We are all cognisant of the reality facing us amidst the current economic headwinds. We have our work cut out this year as we attempt to achieve maximum results with minimum resources, Geingob said.
The opening was attended by all members of the two August Houses, except former Deputy Minister of Land Reform, Bernadus Swartbooi.
Swartbooi resigned in December after refusing to apologise for the remarks he made against Minister Utoni Nujoma and the resettlement programme.
Swartbooi remains an MP.