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National Assembly: MPs Mean Business

Bills, exchange forums, parliamentary networking were achievements during the just-ended Second Ordinary Session for the 2015 legislative year.

Conviviality characterised by hugs, laughter and chit-chats and a call for more vigilance against Boko Haram, marked the opening on June 10, 2015 opening of the Second Ordinary Session of the 2015 Legislative Year at the Ngoa-Ekelle hemicycle. With Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril prominent at the lead, parliamentarians soon settled to business after celebrating key achievements in parliamentary diplomacy, highlighting Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang’s election as Speaker of the Panafrican Parliament.

Six Bills Adopted

Three bills set the tempo for parliamentary business when they were declared admissible for scrutiny by the Chairmen’s Conference and plenary sitting on June 11, 2015 in the presence of Amadou Ali, the Vice Prime Minister, Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Relations with the Assemblies. The first bill sought to authorise the President of the Republic to ratify the additional protocol to the agreement between the Republic of Cameroon and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the application of safeguards pursuant to the treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear weapons signed in Vienna on December 16, 2004.

The second bill was to authorise the President of the Republic to ratify the amendment to the convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, adopted on July 8, 2005. After scrutiny, both bills were adopted by the National Defence and Security Committee. On its part, the Production and Trade Committee adopted the bill to amend and supplement some provisions of Law No. 2010 of 13 April 2010 relating to the Promotion of Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs) in Cameroon. On June 18, 2015, the three bills were adopted in plenary.

Later on June 25, 2015, two more bills were adopted by plenary after scrutiny by the Finance and Budget Committee. The first bill was to ratify Ordinance No. 2015/2 of June 2, 2015 to amend and supplement some provisions of the April 19, 2002 Law instituting the General Tax Code. Meanwhile, the second bill sought to establish a Motor Vehicle Guarantee Fund and lay down its compensation scheme.

It aimed at compensating victims of accidents caused by uninsured drivers or by unidentified offenders who account for 30 per cent of accidents. Last but not the least bill to be adopted was the one to lay down regulations governing entertainment games, money games and games of chance in Cameroon. The bill set the hemicycle in an unparalleled debate with two preliminary objections raised by Social Democratic Front MPs for its rejection; a move which even though failed after voting, attracted the support of some Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement MPs.

Question-answer Sessions

Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang, led his government before the peoples’ representatives in question-answer sessions. Responding to a question on June 12, 2015 on the details of the emergency investment plan in the northern part of the country, Philemon Yang did not only brief the MPs devastating effects of war imposed by the Boko Haram group in the northern part of the country but equally on the various projects undertaken within the emergency plan.

Parliamentary Networking, Exchange Forums

The multitude of networks existing in the National Assembly found time in-between sessions to hold meetings. Bureau elections, field visits as well as discussions on environmental issues, malnutrition, youth affairs, sports governance featured prominently. Exchange Forums in committees, parliamentary networks or plenary between MPs and stakeholders dwelled topical issues such as cybercrime, women’s empowerment and public accounts. On the international scene, several delegations of MPs were deployed. Senior Vice Speaker, Hon. Hilarion Etong, even led a delegation of MPs to attend the 41st session of the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly.

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