A team of parliamentarians has proposed a new bill that will change the way the chamber of deputies executes their duties.
The bill tabled this January 27, intends to improve and amend the Organic Law n° 006/2018.OL of 08/09/2018 determining functioning of the Chamber adopted and published in the Official Gazette no. Special of 20/09/2019.
The Private Member’s Organic Law was proposed by MP Fazil Harerimana (team leader), Specioza Ayinkamiye, Jeanne Henriette Mukabikino, Théogène Munyangeyo, and Albert Ruhakana.
MP Fazil Harerimana who is also Parliament’s Vice-chairperson said that after the above organic law was published, it turned out that some of its provisions should be looked at again to ensure compliance with some legislative drafting traditions.
“This private member’s organic law is also aimed at strengthening collaboration between various stakeholders including public institutions, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, faith-based institutions, and the population at large in order to fast-track the citizen-centered development,” Harerimana said.
This new draft organic law, backed by article 73 of the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda (revised in 2015), is made up of 13 chapters, 224 chapters.
The Private Member’s Organic Law suggested some changes and ideas which will see the parliament have more voice over international reports on Rwanda, when and how the house will continue holding plenary sessions especially with the changing times where using Information Technology has been a reality during the COVID-19.
For instance, the bill suggested holding a plenary sitting, meeting of the Conference of Chairpersons, or a Committee meeting by means of video conferencing, which has been done during the pandemic and already has appropriate infrastructure in place.
Despite hiccups in internet and IT-based meeting systems, MPs said that technology has influenced and evolved the way parliament conducts business in this century and this needs to be considered moving forward.
The bill will also give a description of how the Plenary Assembly of the Chamber of Deputies gives its views on the report to be submitted to international organizations in the event. This is provided in the agreements to which Rwanda is a party or when required by the Prime Minister.
Other key suggested changes include procedures by which the President of the Republic decrees a decree-law in the event Parliament is unable to sit.
The new changes also give MPs a chance to submit a proposal to reconsider a voted bill after the Committee has submitted to the Speaker its report on bill consideration or in case the bill has been voted into law by the Plenary Assembly but pending finalization by the Committee.
This also came with a procedure for consideration of law subject to the second reading at the request of the President of the Republic and the procedure for referring it to the Senate where it falls under its power.
The bill also merged some chapters, for instance, Chapter III relating to “sessions of the Chamber of Deputies and adoption of resolutions” was merged with “the conduct of a Deputy” provided for in Chapter VIII.