LPM, PDM shun parliamentary standing committees

10 September 2020 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and Landless People's Movement (LPM) are refusing to submit the names of their parliamentarians to serve on parliamentary standing committees.

This follows both opposition parties, who won a combined 20 seats in the National Assembly election in 2019, voicing concerns earlier this year over how these committees are constituted.

Earlier this week, National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi announced the members of parliament (MPs) who will serve on the parliamentary standing committees, with both the PDM and LPM conspicuous in their absence.

At the conclusion of the first session of the new parliament earlier this year, both the PDM and LPM condemned the composition of the various standing committees, saying the selection process is unprocedural.





Both parties have threatened legal action.

LPM MP Utaara Mootu said her party, which won four seats in its maiden appearance in the National Assembly election last year, still feels aggrieved by the composition of these committees.

“We are not going to submit our names until the legal matter has been finalised.

“Our stance is that we will not stand until the procedures are just,” she said.

PDM chief whip Vipuakuje Muharukua, whose party garnered 16 seats in last year's election, was not available for comment yesterday.



Key roles

Among the key roles of these committees include receiving and considering legislative proposals, making appropriate recommendations to the National Assembly and securing the attendance of government and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) officials, in order to receive performance reports.

Committees also conduct investigative or oversight hearings and make recommendations for the enhancement of policies, functions and administrative operations of government offices, ministries and agencies, as well as for SOEs.



Condemned

National Assembly spokesperson David Nahongandja said: “The LPM and PDM have so far not submitted the names of their members.

“At the last day of the sitting of the first session, they indicated they were planning to take the National Assembly to court regarding the formation of the committees.

“MPs are appointed to serve in various parliamentary committees by their respective political parties.

“Each party on its own decides which of its members are going to serve in what committee and thereafter inform the speaker of the National Assembly.”

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