First parliament sitting expected in April


Parliament is expected to start its first sitting for this year around April.

This after the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet receives the bills from the ministries.

Special Secretary to Prime Minister, Albert Kabui confirmed this to media last Friday.

Kabui said once the ministries get back to them and the bills are ready for first reading, they will recall Parliament.

Furthermore, he said since 2019, they have started the traditional speech from the throne from his Excellency the Governor General, Sir David Vunagi, where he addresses Parliament.

He said the GG is out of the country, so when he comes back before they can call for Parliament.

Moreover, Kabui recalled that last time, OPMC called Parliament quickly because of the resolution to pass the Budget.

However, he said Parliament has passed the budget before end of last year, so the constitution does not require to call Parliament quickly.

According to Solomon Star, the fifth meeting of the 11th Parliament was adjourned sine die on Monday 19th of December 2022.

The motion of the sine die was moved by the Hon. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Thursday 15th December 2022 “That at the adjournment of Parliament on Monday 19th December 2022, the present meeting shall be concluded and Parliament shall then stand adjourned sine-die.”

It took three days for members of both sides of the house to debate the motion.

In his response speech last year, Prime Minister Sogavare thanked all members who have contributed to the motion whilst responding to their queries and defending the government’s policies and programs of national interest.

The Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Patteson J. Oti in his closing remarks before adjourning Parliament said the passage of the sine die motion moved by the Prime Minister concludes the fifth meeting of the first session of the 11th Parliament which commenced on Monday 28th March 2022 and concluded on Monday 19th December 2022.

The Speaker highlighted that during the course of the 5th meeting, Parliament had sat for 48 days in a plenary; • 6 bills were tabled and were passed by the house, 4 of which were appropriation-related bills. • In this period a total of 38 parliamentary papers were tabled, • 11 motions were put on notice • 30 questions asked and answered

Also, during the 5th meeting, Parliament resolved and approved the extension of the state of public emergency on one occasion to allow the executive government to manage responses to the global pandemic of Covid-19.

Mr. Oti added with community transmission of Covid-19 affecting the country earlier this year, Parliament has to be resilient and ensure continuity.

Also, during the last meeting, one constituency retained a new Member of Parliament in this year’s by-elections, a member for West Kwaio.

A total of five inquiries were conducted so far as the standing committees are concerned, 110 deliberative meetings convened and 5 committee reports were tabled.

The Speaker further told Parliament that he looks forward to when Parliament will have a meeting calendar for the whole year.

The Motion of Sine-die has been put in and passed and Parliament has now stood Sine-Die meaning without any future date being designated for its resumption. This is for an indefinite period.

PM last year said, Parliament will resume as soon as possible as there are many issues to address given the upcoming Pacific Games this year.

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