coat of arms 600x400  Parliament of Botswana 

 

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Government Whip - Hon. Liakat Kablay

 

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Opposition Whip - Hon. Pono Moatlhodi

A Party Whip is a Member of Parliament appointed by each party in Parliament to help, organize their party’s contribution to Parliamentary business.

Standing Order 10 provides that there shall be-

  • Whip elected by Members of the Party with the majority seats in Parliament, who shall be called the Government Whip.
  • Whip elected by Members of the majority Opposition party in Parliament, who shall be called the Opposition Whip.
  • Party Whips elected by Members of each minority Opposition Party represented in Parliament.

The term of office of a Whip shall be the life of Parliament, unless earlier terminated by the person so elected or the Members of parties who elected him or her.

FUNCTIONS OF WHIPS

  1. Ensuring the attendance of Members of their party at all sittings of the House, (unless such Members have been excused from attendance) and the maintenance of a quorum for the entire duration of a sitting of the House.
  1. Acquaint themselves with the special aptitudes, potentialities and interests of the Members of their party in order, inter alia:
    1. suggest names of their party Members for selection to Parliamentary Committees;
    2. b.submit to the Speaker names of Members to speak on a designated subject in the interests of quality and/or specialized debate.
  1. Liaison with the Speaker’s office with respect to the arrangement of the business of the House and to this end, will be Members of the Business Advisory Committee;
  1. Informing their party Members about the arrangement of the business of the House, including procedural motions;
  1. Lobbying Members for optimal use of time in the Assembly;
  1. Proposing, to the Speaker where necessary, the inclusion of their Members on official Parliamentary delegations on trips in and outside the country. In this regard, the Speaker’s decision shall be final.

 

OUR CURRENT WHIPS:

 

  • Government Whip- Hon. Liakat Kablay

 

  • Opposition Whip – Hon. Pono Moatlhodi

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On today’s Order Paper, Parliament sitting will start at 1100hrs until 1300hrs with the debates for the approval by Parliament of the MID-TERM REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 11: 2017/2018 – 2022/2023. Members of Parliament will break for lunch at 1300hrs to 1400hrs. From 1400hrs to 1445hrs, it will be Members’ Question Time. The debates on the Mid-term Review will resume at 1445hrs to 1830hrs.

Standing Order 95 to 97 provides for the presentation and discussion of the National Development Plan;

95. Presentation

95.1 The National Development Plan or Mid-Term Review thereof shall be tabled before the Assembly not less than thirty days before its presentation to Parliament, and the deliberations thereon shall not commence until two clear days have elapsed after such presentation.

The debate shall be confined to the development and economic state of Botswana and the general principles of the policy and administration and shall not exceed eight (8) days.

96. Sectoral Discussion

96.1 Thereafter not more than 16 days shall be allotted to Sectoral discussions.

97. Amendment to National Development Plan

97.1 “Three clear days’ notice shall be given of any intended amendment to a National Development Plan. No amendment to the National Development Plan shall be moved if its effect is to increase the total estimated cost. An amendment to the Development Plan may either be for removal of a project and substituting a new one or may relate to a change in the prioritization of projects.”

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According to the Standing Order 8.1, there shall be a Leader of the House, who shall be the primary link between the executive and the Legislature.

8.2 Without derogating from the generality of the aforegoing, the duties of the Leader of the House shall include:

  1. The selection of public bills and/or policies to be presented before Parliament;
  2. The arrangement of Government business in the House
  3. And to this end , he or she shall be a Member of the Business Advisory Committee
  4. The moving of procedural motions relating to the business of the House:
  5. Response , on behalf of the President, to the debate upon the State of the Nation Address where instructed to do so by the President and shall be allotted more time than ordinary Members
  6. The communication to, and with, the Speaker of the day propose dates of prorogation and/ or dissolution of the House as determined by the President and
  7. Chairing All Party Caucus meetings and/or briefings associated with and / or directed to the dispatch of Government business or any aspect thereof.

8.3. By Virtue of his or her office, the Leader of the House shall be a Member of the Business Advisory Committee.

The Leader of the House is also part of the Committee of Selection; it consists of the Speaker as a Chairperson, The Leader of Opposition, The Government Whip, The Opposition Whip and an addition member, not being a Cabinet Minister who shall be a nominee of the Leader of The House.

Business Advisory Committee

Consists of the Speaker as the Chairperson, the Leader of the House, the Leader of the Opposition, the government whip and the Opposition Whip

The duty of the business advisory committee, inter alia;

  1. Consider and recommend any amendments to the Standing orders which it may consider necessary or desirable ;
  2. Review, select and compile Speakers’ rulings from previous meetings for approval as future precedent by the House;
  3. To recommend the allocation of debating time for the state of the National Address, Appropriation Bills, National Development Plans and Mid-term review or other amendments to a national Development Plan with the All-Party Caucus;
  4. To prepare business forecasts, with the respect to the transaction of business in a meeting of Parliament;
  5. Prioritise individual items of business as and when it deems necessary; presents its forecasts and resolutions to the All-Party Caucus at weekly or other intervals during a meeting of the House.

8.4. In the event of the absence, illness or other non-availability of the Leader of the House, the President shall designate in writing another Minister to discharge the duties of the former.

There is also the LEADER OF THE HOUSE’S QUESTION TIME

According to Standing order 40 (B) 1. This is where Members ask questions to the Leader of the House, His Honour the Vice President, Mr. Slumber Tsogwane questions on issues of national, regional and international importance. This happens on every Thursday when Parliament is sitting.

            HOURS OF SITTING

The Speaker shall call upon the Leader of the House, or in his/ her absence, the most Senior Minister present to move “That this House do now adjourn”.

VARIATION OF SITTING HOURS

The Leader of the House, in his/ her absence, the most Senior Minister present may without notice, at the time appointed in Standing order no. 30 “ Daily Routine of Business” or at any convenient time after the commencement of public business, move-

  1. that any subsequent sitting should commence at some time other than 14:30hrs;
  2. that at that day’s or any subsequent sitting business should be interrupted at some time other than 18:00hrs;
  3. that the proceedings or any specified business be exempted at that day’s sitting from the provisions of paragraph (4)of Standing order no. 26 ( Hours of Sitting);
  4. And any such motion shall be decided without amendment.

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The Leader of the Opposition is a Member elected by the Members of the party which is recognised as the majority opposition party and designated as such by the Speaker. He/she is a Member of Parliament who leads the party with second largest number of seats in Parliament that is not in government. The Leader of Opposition is equivalent in rank to an Assistant Minister.

The roles of the Leader of The Opposition

Standing Orders

  • there shall be a Leader of The Opposition, who shall be the official spokesperson of the majority of the opposition party in the house.
  • the Leader of the Opposition shall be a Member of the following Parliamentary committees:

                             (i) Committee of Selection;

                             (ii) Business Advisory Committee.

  • be the principal spokesperson for the majority opposition party in the Assembly or where there is a coalition he or she shall be the spokesperson for the coalition.
  • have the right to make official statements in the Assembly on important national and international issues on behalf of the majority opposition.
  • be allotted longer speaking times than ordinary Members during debates on the State of the Nation Address , budget speech or any other major Government Policy statement
  • be the first to respond to The State of The Nation Address, Budget Speech or any other major Government Policy Statement and shall be allowed to read his or her speech if he or she so desire;
  • Notwithstanding the provisions of standing Order 9.3.4, the time allotted to the Leader of Opposition shall be less than the time allotted to the presenter of the state of the Nation Address, the Budget Speech or other major Government policy, or the time allotted to the Leader of the House under the Standing Order.

The Leader of the Opposition serve as:

  1. 2nd Vice President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Botswana Branch);
  2. An Executive Member of the Southern African Development
  3. Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum;
  4. An Executive Member of the Inter – Parliamentary Union Committee in Botswana.

The Leader of the Opposition shall, in the event of his or her absence, illness or other non-availability, designate an opposition Member to act in his or her position and such designation shall be notified to the Speaker in writing.

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