Bill Watch 47/2019 Supplementary Budget Acts gazetted & MOPO Bill delayed 22 August 2019 BILL WATCH 47/2019 [26th August 2019] Both Houses of Parliament Will Resume Sitting on Tuesday 27th August The Senate’s Special Sitting on 14th August Recalled from their recess by the President to conduct special business [see Bill Watch 45/2019 of 12th August [link] – Senators assembled on Wednesday 14th August for a single sitting that lasted for just over eight hours, with the adjournment until Tuesday 27th August coming at 10.37 pm. The special business specified by the President was passing the Appropriation Supplementary (2019) Bill, the Finance (No. 2) Bill and the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill. Fast-tracking Senators began by approving a Government motion to fast-track all three Bills by suspending all Standing Orders that might otherwise prevent them from taking all stages of the Bills the same day. Asked by the President of the Senate to give reasons for the motion, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs briefly referred to the fact that the Second Session of the present Parliament would be starting in September, that the Government wished Parliament to complete the Bills before the end of the current Session and that the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill, part of the Government’s “legislative reform agenda which had been outstanding for a long time”, had already been subjected to a long delay by the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC]. He did not, however, mention the special need for the Finance (No. 2) Bill to be gazetted as law on or before 21st August – which we explained in Bill Watch 45/2019 [link]; as things turned out, this deadline was met [see below under Acts gazetted]. Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill The Senate first tackled the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill. The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs piloted the Bill through the Senate instead of the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, who is the responsible Minister. In his speech commencing the Second Reading stage the Minister explained to Senators the changes that had been made to the Bill by the National Assembly [link] before it reached the Senate. Discussion of the Bill took until after 9 pm, with a fifteen-minute “re-energisation break” just after 8 pm. Opposition Senators bombarded the Minister with criticisms of the Bill and suggestions for improvements. The Minister, however, made only one concession – he accepted an amendment to clause 7(5), which will now read as follows: ‘Any person who knowingly fails to give notice of a gathering in terms of subsection (1) or of the postponement or delay of a gathering in terms of

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