Pull up your socks!
‘MPs reminded of Parliament 9.30am starting time’
MEMBERS of Parliament (MPs) have been strongly urged to be punctual in attending Parliament at 9.30am when each sitting convenes.
The Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare made the statement when winding down the sine die motion in Parliament last week.
Sogavare added that while he deeply appreciates that MPs have other commitments and official duties, they must be reminded that they voted on an agreed time to start each sitting of Parliament and is spelt out in the Standing Orders.
The Prime Minister then told Parliament that starting on time is not the only issue; he added that the issue of quorum as raised by the Leader of the Official Opposition Hon Jeremiah Manele, is something Parliament struggles over.
“It must be registered that MPs have other meetings and when there comes a situation that we fall below 25 then something is not really right and we need to remind ourselves and we need to pull up our socks and we are reminded by other MPs why we are MPs of this house, we are elected to represent our people – it is a big responsibility,” said the Prime Minister.
Sogavare then strongly stated that the conduct of the business of the House is governed by sets of rules by Parliament and they (Parliamentarians) fall below that expectation.
The Prime Minister then said the Speaker of Parliament Ajilon Nasiu goes to the extent of ringing the bell to call in all MPs into the Chamber even though he is not obliged to do so.
“You are not obliged to do so Mr Speaker, it is the duty of all MPs to know when to be in the Chamber and all you need to do is walk in and if there is no quorum, walk out.
“Your predecessor did that Mr Speaker, because Parliament voted to start at 9:30am and the way we are going is not good, it is your Chamber, you take charge,” the Prime Minister added.
Sogavare then added that if this is what MPs are telling their people that this is the way discharge our duties and if this is what is reflected in Parliament, they need to pull up their socks
“We are struggling to be on good terms with our people and our people observe us very closely reminding us again as people’s representatives in this House,” Hon Sogavare said.