Parliament re-opening brought forward

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…august house in race against time to finalise reforms bill, budget and other issues: Maema

’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE re-opening of parliament has been brought forward to tomorrow to enable legislators to attend to various urgent matters including the 2021/22 budget deliberations and the reforms bills.

Both the National Assembly and Senate closed for the Christmas holidays in November 2020.

Normally the two houses re-open in February each year. But this time around, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Fine Maema, said they would be re-opening tomorrow to deal with the urgent issues.

“After the Christmas holidays, parliament normally re-opens in February but this time MPs are under immense pressure to quickly work on a lot of bills that have to be debated and finalised before the end of the National Reforms Authority (NRA)’s tenure in April,” Advocate Maema said in an interview this week.

“Therefore, parliament will reopen on 14 January 2022. Parliament will also deliberate on other issues including the proposed budget which is traditionally given priority over other issues,” he added.

Meanwhile, NRA public relations manager, Motlatsi Nkhasi, said it was highly unlikely that they would have concluded their business by the time their tenure ends at the end of April.

“Of all the issues, we will have to prioritise the constitutional reforms to ensure that these would have been enacted into law by the time our tenure ends. Besides these, we have 60 pieces of legislation that we have been working on other thematic areas. These are yet to be tabled in parliament,” Mr Nkhasi said.

The NRA is an independent entity established through the National Reforms Act of 2019. It is tasked with managing, coordinating and leading the national reforms process.

The constitutional, security sector, judiciary, media, parliamentary, economic and public service reforms were recommended in 2016 by SADC as part of efforts to achieve lasting peace and stability in Lesotho. Their implementation is long overdue, having been delayed by the constant bickering among political parties.

 

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