March 2, 2005

Frelimo warns against further sabotage in parliament

The ruling Frelimo Party has served notice that it would no longer tolerate the threats, sabotage, libellous accusations and filibustering that have, for the past ten years, characterised the behaviour in parliament by Renamo. The prestige of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, has been severely damaged by Renamo's sometimes successful attempts to halt parliamentary business, and to prevent the Assembly from discussing matters that might lead to court cases against Renamo members.
In his speech at the opening session of a parliamentary, the head of the Frelimo parliamentary group, Manuel Tome, warned "We shall firmly and without hesitation support the chairperson of the Assembly when he intervenes to end any deviation from the agenda or the matter under debate, any offence to the decorum of the Assembly, of the deputies or of state bodies, any use of improper language, any threat to resort to violence". Frelimo, he said, would make every effort to create a climate of "mutual respect" within the parliamentary chamber. "We shall fight for respect for differences of opinion, and for the dignity of our institution", declared Tome. He hoped for "effective and productive collaboration" between the Frelimo and opposition benches. "The country deserves, and we desire, a sensitive, loyal, responsible and constructive opposition", he stressed. The Assembly's standing orders and the Statute of Deputies were not simple regulations, he added. They had been passed as laws, and governed the operations "of an institution that is responsible to all of society, not a group, a club, or a corporation". (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, Maputo)

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