MPs vote on bill for EA assembly today

Members of the Chamber of Deputies are expected to pass a bill today that will pave way for elections of the country’s representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
Denis Polisi, a vice speaker of the Chamber of Deputies
Denis Polisi, a vice speaker of the Chamber of Deputies

Members of the Chamber of Deputies are expected to pass a bill today that will pave way for elections of the country’s representatives to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

This follows the country’s accession into the East African Community (EAC) in June and the need for the country to actively participate in the bloc’s day-to-day activities.

Last month, EALA Speaker, Abdirahin Haithar Abdi and other delegates, visited Rwanda and urged local MPs to elect their representatives to EALA so that the country can fully participate in the bloc’s programmes.

Denis Polisi, a vice speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, explained that there should be a law in place governing and directing MPs going to the EALA.

Polisi headed a 5-MP committee that drafted the bill, which was tabled to the extra-ordinary session on Monday.

“We should endorse bills that represent the interest of those that that we represent in Parliament; political parties, women, youths and disabled persons, so that peoples’ views are clearly addressed in the East African Assembly,” he said yesterday.

The bill stipulates that candidates must resign from their official duties in order to stand for an EALA slot.

There would be eight members representing political parties, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) would have four, one each from the Liberal Party (PL), Social Democratic Party, National Youth Council and National Federation of the Disabled.

The bill doesn’t provide for independent candidates because they are not represented in Parliament, Polisi said.

“We have added some specificity concerning our country like the fight against the ideologies of divisionism and Genocide to be handled in the East African Legislative Assembly,” he added.

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