Friday, 5 September 2003

Announcement on the means of ascertaining the presence of Deputies at the sessions of the Parliament

In connection to doubts which have arisen among the public about the procedure of ascertaining the presence of Deputies at the sessions of the National Assembly, we would like to offer some clarification.


In connection to doubts which have arisen among the public about the procedure of ascertaining the presence of Deputies at the sessions of the National Assembly, we would like to offer some clarification.

A Deputy’s presence at a session is ascertained in several ways. At the beginning of the session, the Chairperson informs the Deputies about those who had advised of their absence beforehand. However, it is common for Deputies who had notified the Assembly they would be absent to arrive during the course of a session and participate in it. This can be seen from the record kept by the technical service in front of the entrance to the Chamber. It is exactly for this reason that Deputies can benefit from certain rights: for example, they can claim their daily salary on the basis of this record, and not according to whether or not they had notified the Assembly of their absence.

The Chairperson of the National Assembly has at her disposal only a short note, serving as a reminder, prepared by the technical service before the session on the basis of Deputies’ notifications and the Agenda. During the session itself, Deputies enter and leave the Chamber freely, and the Chairperson has no way of determining if any Deputies who had not been present at the start later arrived, or, even though entered in the register, had in the meantime left the Chamber. During voting, the only thing the Chairperson sees on the screen in front of her are graphics (squares of various colours and numerical totals) representing the results of the voting.

Therefore, the only way to protest and ascertain possible irregularities is for a Deputy to lodge a formal complaint in the course of the very session of the National Assembly.



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