PDM condemns abrupt adjournent of National Assembly

15 Nov 2017 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 15 NOV (NAMPA) – The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) party has condemned the adjournment of the National Assembly (NA), claiming it was politically motivated.
Members of Parliament (MPs) were Tuesday notified via short message services (SMS) shortly after the house adjourned that “due to unforeseen circumstances” there would be no session in the NA until next week Tuesday.
“Postponing the business of the NA so that MPs of a specific political party can attend star rallies and other internal party matters makes a complete mockery of Parliament as a democratic institution representing the will of people who represent different political denominations,” said PDM Chairperson and official opposition party Chief Whip, Jennifer van den Heever in a media statement Wednesday.
Van den Heever said Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein called a meeting with MPs from opposition parties on Monday and pleaded with them to conclude their responses to the Mid-Term Budget Review by Wednesday to allow him to respond to the responses on Thursday before the Appropriation Amendment Bill could proceed to the National Council on an urgent basis.
Van den Heever said this was done against the spirit of the request made by Schlettwein which opposition parties had duly agreed to honour.
“On Tuesday, Honourable Mike Kavekotora adjourned the debate on the Appropriation Amendment Bill and it was agreed on the House floor that the debate would resume today (Wednesday),” Van den Heever noted.
Discussions on the Appropriated Amendment Bill were on Tuesday postponed to Thursday, after the house failed to meet the voting quorum of 49 MPs out of 96 MPs. Only 35 MPs were in the NA on Tuesday. A total of 26 MPs are required for a sitting quorum.
NA Speaker, Peter Katjavivi on Wednesday justified the adjournment as being necessitated by various political parties’ activities like the PDM’s rebranding and upcoming preparations for the Swapo ordinary congress amongst others, which has drawn MPs away from the routine business of the House.
“We thought it wise to relieve members for two days from the normal parliamentary business. However, we acknowledged that there is urgent and very important business to be completed in the House before we break off for recess this November,” he said in a statement.
The PDM re-branded from DTA of Namibia on 04 November 2017. The party has been in existence since November 1977.