Parliament convenes on Nov 14 – Speaker

Members of Parliament (MPs) converge in the Capital City in Lilongwe this week for the 6th Meeting of the 42nd Session of Parliament to be held at the New Parliament Building from Monday, November 14, 2011.

President Bingu wa Mutharika is expected to deliver a State of the Nation Address on the following day, Tuesday, November 15, 2011.

According to a statement made available to Nyasa Times, the meeting of the National Assembly will be preceded by a workshop on “Conflict Management”, which will be held at the New Parliament Building from November 9 to 11, 2011.

Speaker Chimunthu Banda: Reconvenes parliament

The press release says the official opening of the workshop will be held on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 from 8:30 am.

“Therefore, all cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and Members of Parliament are invited to attend the workshop and are summoned to attend the 6th Meeting of the National Assembly in the 42nd Session of Parliament,” concludes the statement  signed by Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda.

During the 5th Session of the 42nd Meeting of Parliament, MPs passed adopted the widely unpopular “zero deficit” budget and debated and passed a few unpopular Bills that infringe on people’s rights and freedoms.

On Thursday, leaders of the dialogue group between the Malawian government and civil society added their voice to calls for MPs to repeal all unpopular laws during the forthcoming session of Parliament.

But government chief whip Symon Vuwa Kaunda has cast doubt in repealing the laws during the forthcoming parliament, saying they need to follow “proper consultations and procedures.”

In a statement released Thursday, the dialogue group agreed that when Parliament reconvenes, it should repeal the Injunctions Bill, which prevents granting of an injunction against government or a public officer in the absence of state representation.

They have demanded that Section 46 of the Penal Code which gives powers to a cabinet minister to ban publications judged not in public interest to be suspended.

They have also backed the repeal of Police Bill which is likely to fall to abuse particularly for allowing a police officer to search private property without court warrant.

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