The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, has advised legislators from Somalia to enforce Parliamentary rules and procedures, arguing that this is one sure way of preserving the dignity of the legislature.
Oulanyah said that each Member owes Parliament its dignity and is thus duty bound to observe its rules and procedures.
“If you should be caught doing something unacceptable, you are bringing the whole reputation of Parliament in disrepute and you should be able to explain to Parliament. So each member has the duty to protect the image of Parliament,” said Oulanyah.
Oulanyah made a presentation on “Enforcing parliamentary rules and procedures” to the visiting MPs from the Republic of Somalia during an interaction held in the Chamber of Parliament on Wednesday, 23 October 2019.
The Deputy Speaker recalled incidents in Parliament of Uganda where he had to deal with members who used abusive language and those who disrespected the powers of the Speaker.
“There is a dignified member who did something wrong; I asked him to step out but he refused; I suspended the proceedings for 15 minutes to allow him move out of the chamber, but I returned and still found him here,” he said adding “I called the Sergeant-At-Arms and the member was thrown out; but now he is my best friend.”
Oulanyah observed that although democracies front the majority decision to reign over the minority, Parliaments should ensure that rights of the minority are preserved. He mentioned instances in the Ugandan Parliament where the majority report has been rejected in favour of the minority report.
This he said ensures that all members of Parliament receive fair treatment. He explained that every position in Parliament must receive a fair debate, and that even when the will of the majority must carry the day, the rights of the minority must be respected.