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Citizens have the right to hold Leaders accountable

MEMBERS of Parliament (MPs) have been reminded that citizens of the country have the ability to hold them accountable in order to have a transparent, thriving and robust democracy.

Leader of the Official Opposition Hon Jeremiah Manele made the statement yesterday in Parliament in his contribution to the Ombudsman Bill 2016.

“Mr Speaker, we must be reminded that the ability of citizens to hold their government to account is fundamental to a robust democracy.

“The rule of law requires that parliament is ultimately accountable to the voters or citizens, and one of the important ways to do this is by citizens having access to the services that governments promised to deliver.

“Sir there is no doubt that a strengthened Ombudsman’s Office will contribute towards developing a more robust and functional democracy in our country,” Manele said.

Hon Manele then added that in implementing this Bill, it is critical among other implementation initiatives and strategies, to promote awareness especially in our rural communities and schools on the role and functions of the office of the Ombudsman.

“Remember that a right to complaint is not a right if a person is not aware of its existence.

“Mr Speaker, above all, I am confident that if implemented effectively, this Bill will help the Ombudsman’s Office to achieve the objective of contributing towards the development of a public service culture characterized by fairness, dedication, commitment, openness, accountability and the promotion of the right to good public administration.

“Once again, Sir, this side of the House and the people of Hograno/Kia/Havulei Constituency render our full support to this important bill.

“With this few remarks, Sir, I support the bill and resume my seat,” The Opposition Leader said.