Speaker explains closed session
September 25, 2015 1:04 am
Speaker of the House Dr. Jiko Luveni has clarified that the closed sitting of parliament was to allow the government to make a statement in parliament about negotiating bond prices – without publicly affecting market forces.
Opposition MPs Professor Biman Prasad yesterday asked why there was no right of reply to an announcement by Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum that a new bond agreement has been secured.
Dr. Luveni pointed out that the process had been clearly explained in the first instance during the closed sitting of the House.
She says the Standing Orders allow for a Member to explain something that has occurred outside parliament – but is not another channel for taking issue with, or debating a statement.
The Speaker adds that she herself called for the government to make further disclosures in parliament once the bond agreement had been finalised.
“I received communication from the Finance Minister that the bond deal has been concluded. Therefore due to the public interest element and the reasons for the closed session, I felt that there should be no delay in making the announcement to the public and indeed that this be done in parliament."
Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced on Wednesday that the government has a new bond sovereign bond from a US insurer at a rate of 6.625% – less than the previous 9%.