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.