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EALA Meet to Review Rules of Procedure.

East African Legislative Assembly, Nairobi; 20th November, 2014: The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Members were locked in a four-day Meeting at the County Hall to discuss and review the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure.The meeting which was chaired by Hon Chris Opoka-Okumu hoped to come up with revised and/or amended Rules of Procedure which shall then be debated and approved by the House next week on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014.The technical working session involved the whole House and Members who went through the Rules via a clause by clause modality, proposing changes to the text, phrases or otherwise. The meeting also took into consideration other proposed amendments brought to fore by the report of the Committee of the Legal Rules and Privileges on the same.The Rules of Procedure were first adopted by the first Assembly on 28th November 2001. Thereafter, they were amended in the year 2008, mainly, to take care of expanded membership of the Assembly, following the admission of the Republics of Burundi and Rwanda.Members were on record on several occasions to have expressed the need to amend certain provisions of the Rules either for purposes of providing clarity, consistency and/or practicability; or to take into consideration new developments over the years.During the Plenary Sitting in Kigali on October 28th, 2014, the Speaker, Rt. Hon Margaret Nantongo Zziwa ruled that the Assembly commences review of the Rules of Procedure immediately.The ruling followed a Motion introduced by Hon Judith Pareno seeking to adjourn other business in the House until the review/amendment of the said Rules of Procedures were debated on as a matter of priority.According to Hon Pareno, Article 60 of the Treaty stipulates that the Assembly may make, amend, add to or revoke to the Rules governing the Assembly. The Motion, which was seconded by Hon Nancy Abisai further stated that the term of Commissioners of EALA ends on December 5, 2014 and that their election was neither provided for in the Administration of EALA Act nor in the Rules of Procedure making the amends necessary.The original debate on amendments was interrupted on the 26th March 2014 during the Session in Arusha, Tanzania, to allow for Members time to digest proposed amendments by the Legal Rules and Privileges Committee. Prior to the adjournment, the House had received the Report of the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges on the review of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure. The Report presented then by the Chair of the Legal Rules Privileges Committee, Hon Dora Byamukama states that notable developments at the Assembly have since deemed it inevitable to revise the rules of engagement.Article 49 (2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community provides that the Assembly shall make its Rules of Procedure and those of the Committees.

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