Ramkalawan to work very hard—after five years vacation
SNP’s leader, Wavel Ramkalawan, has said that in the next session of the National
Assembly - if he gets elected - he shall press for the legislature to meet three times
a week. This comes after he has just enjoyed a 5-year vacation, having boycotted
the elections in 2011, though still enjoying a fat pension.
For the record, Ramkalawan had been MNA since 1993, when he was
a proportionally elected member. He was there in 1998, when he upstaged
Mr. Mancham as Opposition leader, a post he was to retain until his 2011 boycott.
Did he ever suggest that the National Assembly should meet three times weekly?
The answer is no. He spent much of the time travelling, attending conferences
here and there and generally having a good time, while receiving a fat salary.
As is presently the case, the Assembly also broke up for recess or vacation
twice a year. That means for periods of over one month, it did not sit at all.
Did Ramkalawan find anything wrong with that then? We are not apologizing
for certain Parti Lepep MNAs who hardly tabled motions or asked questions
and sat on their fat ass.
Some like Maria Payet, Bernard Arnephy, Emmanuel Fideria, Charles de
Commarmond and Mirena Souris did their fair share. But still, Ramkalawan
is now playing cheap politics. Can he mention any countries where parliaments
meet almost continuously? In neighbouring Mauritius, parliament also meets once
a week. On occasional occasions, debate can go up till late and last for two or
three consecutive days.
This is the same in Seychelles for the annual budget address at the end of each
year and the President’s State of the Nation Address at the beginning of each
Nearly all SNP MNAs were going to the Assembly on Tuesday and beyond
that, conducting their personal business. This is particularly the case for lawyer
Bernard Georges, who was elected at Les Mamelles in 2007 (albeit by just 4 votes)
and has never been seen since in his constituency.