A SEMANA : Primeiro di?rio caboverdiano em linha

Political Office-Holder Statute not on the agenda for next session of parliament 13 Abril 2015

The National Assembly will meet on April 20 for this month’s plenary session, but is not expected to review the law defining the new Political Office-Holder Statute, which has been vetoed by President Jorge Carlos Fonseca and has, as such, been sent back to parliament. The question hanging in the air for Cape Verdeans is what the National Assembly’s next step will be, although it is certain that the controversial bill will need something similar to the unanimity it received in its first vote in order to override the veto.

Political Office-Holder Statute not on the agenda for next session of parliament

The fact that the controversial Political Office-Holder Statute has not been included on the agenda of this month’s plenary session of parliament reinforces analysts’ prediction that the nation’s legislators need more time to re-assess the statute calmly and in depth, as the head of state suggested. This complex process could also require a cost-benefit study of the measure and, as a result, end up leading to a new proposal that could substantially reduce the nearly 350 million escudos needed to implement the new wage structure for political office-holders, one of the most contested aspects of the bill in question – indeed, the center of the flurry of protests that swept the country in recent weeks, arousing Cape Verdeans’ anger against the political class like never before.

National Assembly regiment and referendum

The April plenary session of parliament is expected to see a final vote on the National Assembly Regiment Project, which began to be debated in last month’s session. The bill proposes more sessions of parliament – currently, sessions take place during the last week of each month, and the new proposal would see sessions every two weeks and, eventually, every week – as well as monthly debates with the head of the government on aspects related to Cape Verde’s domestic and foreign policy. Because of the rejection of the new political office-holder statute, which, among other things, intended to establish the resources needed by legislators, some have questioned whether it would be opportune to approve the new regiment at present. Another important bill is an urgent document aimed at altering the current Electoral Code.

The next session of the National Assembly is also expected to debate bills instituting National Referendums, the Legal Regime regulating municipal police forces, a law defining legislative initiatives submitted directly by groups of voters and the Legal School Health and Food Regime. Parliament is also expected to approve a bill regulating access to and the practicing of television broadcasting activities and the General Legal Regime of Public Institutes.

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