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Monday, June 24, 2024

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The Opposition Is Asking For The Former Process Of Drawing Lots For PQs

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In a letter sent to the Speaker of the National Assembly on Friday 3 May 2024, Opposition Whip Patrick Assirvaden strongly criticised the current process for drawing lots for interpellations. He said that there is an agreement dated 18 March 2022, signed by the Chief Whip of the government at the time and the then Opposition Whip. It was presented at the parliamentary sitting of 29 March 2022 by the Speaker of the National Assembly. The document stipulates  that each parliamentary question must be given a number according to the time it is received by the Clerk. These questions are then ranked by a transparent process of drawing lots, where the first number drawn determines the first question on the agenda. However, during the last draw on 30 April 2024, Patrick Assirvaden claims, the agreed procedure was not followed. According to the Opposition Whip, the draw was carried out in complete secrecy. Patrick Assirvaden maintains that the parliamentary questions for the sitting of 7 May 2024 were not given a specific number, and their ranking was not communicated at the same time as the draw, but at a later date. It was the Speaker who deciphered the draw for establishing this ranking. According to Patrick Assirvaden, this change in procedure increases opacity and favours questions from government members to the detriment of the Opposition. The Opposition is urging the Speaker to reinstate the old system of drawing lots.

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