Cape Verdean Parliament returns to monthly debate with PM two months later

In accordance with the agenda for the second ordinary session of parliament, convened for May 27-29, a debate with the Prime Minister is again scheduled, as provided for in the parliamentary regulations.

The monthly debates with the Cape Verdean prime minister return to the National Assembly next week, after the absence in March and April, due to the covid-19 pandemic and despite the criticisms launched then by the opposition.

In accordance with the agenda for the second ordinary session of parliament, convened for May 27-29 and to which Lusa had access today, a debate with the Prime Minister is again scheduled, as provided by the parliamentary regulations.

The May debate with Ulisses Correia e Silva will be subordinated to the theme of Public Policies for the rural world and measures for the emergency context, caused by the pandemic of covid-19, proposed by the parliamentary group of the African Party of Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) , opposition).

The Cape Verdean parliamentary majority failed on April 28 to request an urgent debate with the prime minister, presented by the opposition regarding the covid-19 pandemic, leading to a strong exchange of accusations between PAICV and MpD.

“The prime minister is afraid of the confrontation. This is the truth ”, accused the leader of the biggest opposition party, Janira Hopffer Almada, who questioned the“ lack of conditions ”argument for Ulisses Correia e Silva not participating in the debates provided for in parliament.

At the center of the discussion was the lack of monthly debates in the National Assembly, in Praia, between the Prime Minister and the deputies, in March and April, due to the covid-19 pandemic and with the archipelago in a state of emergency, decreed by the President of the Republic, and which remains in force on the island of Santiago (Praia).

Taking advantage of the holding of the ordinary session of the parliament in April, the PAICV parliamentary group presented a proposal for inclusion in the agenda, under the Constitution of the Republic, of a “urgency” debate with the Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia and Silva.

“This concentration of powers in the Government [in a state of emergency] imposes on us a greater need for control, inspection and accountability. Otherwise, we would be opening space to subvert our democracy, to subvert our system of government, giving parliament a secondary role, ”accused PAICV parliamentary leader Rui Semedo.

The deputy went even further, stating that the scheduling of the debate with the Prime Minister - Ulisses Correia e Silva was at the National Assembly on April 17, to present the Government's opinion for the extension of the state of emergency - should be encouraged by the President of Parliament, Jorge Santos (MpD), in “defense” of that sovereign body.

“As much as I don't like it, the President [of the National Assembly] has been wearing the majority's shirt”, accused Rui Semedo, before Jorge Santos withdrew the floor, and both involved, then, in an exchange of accusations.

The proposal, to include the discussion on the urgent debate with the Head of Government on the agenda, was rejected by the parliamentary majority led by the Movement for Democracy (MpD), with 38 votes, claiming that at this stage the “priority is to save lives ”, compared to the 26 who wanted to include the debate (in addition to the PAICV also two deputies from the Independent and Democratic Cape Verdean Union - UCID).

Even before the vote, the leader of the parliamentary bench of the MpD, Joana Rosa, appealed to the PAICV to place the “interest of the nation above any other political game”.

“Now is not a time for guerrillas. What the current PAICV leadership has done is guerrillas, not politics ”, criticized the parliamentary leader of the MpD.

Cape Verde has an accumulation of 362 cases of covid-19, of which 95 have already been considered recovered and three ended up dying. The country currently has 262 active cases, all on the island of Santiago, which remains in a state of emergency until May 29.

Globally, according to a report by the AFP news agency, the covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 330 deaths and infected more than five million people in 196 countries and territories.

More than 1,8 million patients were considered cured.

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