Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) president Duma Boko announced this week that they will back Margaret Nasha’s bid for a second term as Speaker of the National Assembly. The UDC will also nominate their MP Abraham Kesupile for the post of Deputy Speaker. Boko was speaking at a press conference on Friday. “We believe that Nasha is experienced.
We are also aware that she is advocating for the independence of parliament to raise the stature of the legislature. This is something that she is very passionate about. We believe that she should be given an opportunity to drive the parliament forward and we will also assist her to improve,” he said. UDC president described Nasha as a fair speaker that the national assembly has ever had.
“I want to believe that we will need a fair and balanced speaker of the national assembly. How the relationship turns out between us in the opposition and the ruling party will depend on the performance and conduct of the speaker. We believe that someone of Nasha’s calibre will make a balanced national assembly with a sense of maturity and experience,” Boko said. Meanwhile the election of the national speaker, Deputy Speaker and the endorsement of the Vice President have been halted pending the case in which Attorney General instituted legal proceedings in the High Court on an urgent basis to determine the constitutionality of certain Standing Orders of the National Assembly. Attorney General on Thursday wrote a letter to the Parliamentary clerk advising that no parliamentary transactions should be undertaken pending the said case as that will violate the sub-judice role. In light of the letter, the Parliamentary clerk said there was no way Parliament could proceed with the election of the speaker, Deputy Speaker and the endorsement of the Vice President until the High court had made a decision on the case.
“I am advised by attorney general that on the 29th of October 2014 she had instituted legal proceedings at the High Court on an urgent base to determine the constitutionality of standing orders; 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.11, 4.14 and 6.1. The remedy be sought in the legal proceedings is for an order declaring standing orders; 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.11, 4.14 and 6.1 to be unconstitutional and ultra vires section 89 (5) as read in section 39, 59 and 74 of the constitution,” Parliamentary clerk said.
The application has been dully served upon the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) who are the respondents in the matter. The case is expected to be heard on the 6th November 2014.