- Seychelles to host the 2018 Conference
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Dr.Patrick Herminie, attended the 23rdConference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) held in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia from the 9th to the 14th of January 2016. The Conference, which was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, his excellency Ahmad ZahidHamidi, saw the participation of almost 50 Speakers from across the Commonwealth.
Held every 2 years, the conference aims to maintain, foster and encourage impartiality and fairness on the part of Speakers and Presiding Officers of parliaments; and to promote knowledge and understanding of parliamentary democracy through the sharing of best practices.
Speaker Herminie had the honour of addressing the conference on the topic ‘Challenges facing the independence of the Speaker’. In his expose, Dr. Herminie argued that the political role of a Speaker should be clearly spelt out in the constitution, given the multifariouspowers, rights and duties of the Speaker’s Office. He also made an indebt analysis of the impact that party politics may have on the independence of the speakership.
The Speaker further elaborated on other factors that might compromise the Speaker as an impartial adjudicator and that, he said, include the way a Speaker is appointed, the extent of his security of tenure and the administrative and financial autonomy of the legislature.
Other topics discussed in the conference included the Security of Parliaments and its Precincts, parliamentary privilege to allow members to perform their duties without outside threat or interference and as a mean to ensure the strict separation of powers between the three branches of government as well as capacity building and professional development of the members of parliament.
The Conference further elected Seychelles as its new chairperson for the next two years. The National Assembly of Seychelles will thus host the 24th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth to be held in 2018.