Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has urged opposition legislators, who are currently boycotting House sittings, to return and channel their concerns through constructive dialogue.
She noted that the matters raised by the opposition regarding human rights violations are critical and concern all sides.
“Hon. Members, I am aware of the outstanding demands by the Members of Parliament in the opposition for government action on critical human rights and civic matters,” Ms Among said at the beginning of Tuesday, 14 November 2023 plenary.
She added that her leadership will always strive to promote cohesion and teamwork irrespective of political affiliation on such matters so that members deliberate freely and productively.
“Matters of human rights and civic space concern all of us. As your presiding officers, both my deputy and I recognize the importance of a unified Parliament, especially on bipartisan matters such as human rights and civic space,” the speaker explained.
This came as Opposition MPs earlier said they have no plans of attending plenary sittings until their demands are met by the Central Government, which includes furnishing them with a statement on the fate of missing members, especially those of the National Unity Platform party.
Speaker Among said the government was given up to 19th November to report back with a statement which should be tabled during the sitting of Tuesday 21st November 2023 on matters raised.
Ms Among also cautioned members against absenteeism, stating that absence from the House is akin to extinguishing the voice of those you represent.
“I also draw your attention to Rule 112 (6) of the Rules of Procedure which stipulates that; ‘Except with the permission of the Speaker, a Member shall not absent himself or herself for 15 or more sittings of the House during any period when the House is continuously meeting’ So as some members opt to stay away from the House, they should be cognizant of that Rule,” she said.
Ms Among returned to chair the House sittings after an extended leave off duty during which she gave birth to twins.
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