Eight bills tabled in first week of June 2024 session of parliament

Eight draft legislations have been brought to the attention of Member of the National Assembly and the Senate within the first week of the opening of the ongoing June ordinary session of parliament.

The session rumbled off on Tuesday June 11 and the said draft bills were tabled during separate plenary sessions on Wednesday, June 12 and Thursday, June 13 respectively.

It is arguably the first time in the contemporary history of the legislative institutions that such a high number of draft bills have been tabled within two days.

The early tabling of the bills signals the start of what is expected to be a charged session for lawmakers, ostensibly to cover up for the unproductive March ordinary session. During the session, parliamentary business was paralyzed by a delayed bureau election, which finally held a few days to the end of the ordinary session. The Bureau elections was the only parliamentary activity that Members of Parliament had throughout their 30 days stay in Yaounde for the first ordinary session of the 2024 legislative year.

The eight bills tabled

Before bringing the draft legislations to the attention of members of the two houses last week, the bills had been presented and declared admissible by the Chairmen’s Conference chaired by House Speaker, the Rt Hon Cavaye Yeguie Djibril in the case of the National Assembly, and President Marcel Niat Njifenji, in the case of the Senate. After the conferences, the bills were then presented in plenary and assigned to the different relevant commissions.

The bills tabled in separate plenaries over the two days preceding the opening plenary include:

Bill No 2051/PJL/AN, to authorize the President of the Republic to ratify the air transport agreement between the government of the Republic of Cameroon and the government of Canada, signed on June 1, 2022 in Yaounde.

Bill No 2051/PJL/AN to regulate archives in Cameroon.

Bill No 2052/PJL/AN, to authorize the president of the Republic to proceed with Cameroon’s accession to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) copyright treaty, adopted in Geneva Swiss Confederation on December 20, 1996

Bill No 2053/PJL/AN, to authorize the president of the Republic to proceed with Cameroon’s accession to the international convention for the protection of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organizations, adopted in Rome, Italy on October 26, 1961

Bill N°2054/PJL/AN, to authorize the President of the Republic to proceed with Cameroon’s accession to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) performances and phonograms, adopted in Geneva, Swiss Confederation on  December 20, 1996.

Bill No 2055/PJL/AN, to authorize the president of the republic to ratify the partnership between the European Union and its member states, on the one hand and members of the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS-EU), on the other hand, signed in Samoa on November 15, 2023

Two more

A day after, on Thursday June 13, the House received two more bills including:

Bill No 2056/PJL/AN, to authorize the president of the Republic to proceed with Cameroon’s accession to the United Nations Conventions relating to the status of stateless persons and on the reduction of statelessness, adopted in New York, United States on September 28, 1954 and August 30, 1961 respectively.

Bill No 2057/PJL/AN, to authorize the president of the republic to ratify the protocol amending the Marrakesh agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation, by insertion of the agreement of June 17, 2022 on fisheries subsidies on Annex 1A.

Five adopted

Same Thursday four of the bills, No. 2050, 2052, 2053 and 2054 were scrutinized and adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee. The Minister of Transport Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe presented and defended Bill No. 2050 while his colleague, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr Pierre Ismaël Bidoung Kpwatt defended the three others. Felix Mbayu, Minister Delegate to the Minister of External Relations in Charge of Commonwealth, accompanied them both.

Minister Bidoung Kpwatt then came back on Friday, June 14 to defend bill No. 2050 which was also adopted by the Cultural Affairs Committee.

The Foreign Affairs Committee was scheduled to scrutinize Bill No. 2057 this Tuesday, June 18.

Once the respective committees would have examined and adopted the bills at their levels, they will be presented in plenary for general debates before a final decision is taken on them as tradition holds.

It should be noted that one of the top issues on the agenda of the ongoing session is the budget orientation debate, which will come later in the session, as well as the children’s parliament. The session will of course be punctuated by question-and-answer plenaries at both the Lower and Upper Houses.

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