Foi a 5 de Julho de 1975 que, na Cidade da Praia, o primeiro-ministro português, Vasco Gonçalves, e o presidente da Assembleia Nacional Popular de Cabo Verde, Abílio Duarte, assinaram a declaração de independência do país. Depois dos abraços dos que estavam no palco e perante a multidão, desceu a bandeira portuguesa, ao som do hino português. Em seu lugar subia a bandeira do novo estado ao som do hino escrito por Amílcar Cabral.
A Assembleia Nacional Popular da Guiné-Bissau aprovou ontem por unanimidade o primeiro Plano Estratégico realizado não apenas por técnicos, mas também, e sobretudo, com os parlamentares.
As Comissões Especializadas Parlamentares estiveram no centro deste trabalho por ser objetivo da Assembleia o reforço da capacidade de Fiscalização e prestação de contas pelo Executivo. Citamos as palavras de agradecimento ao Pro PALOP TL (projecto PNUD financiado pela Uniao Europeia) dirigidas por Sua Excelência, o Presidente da ANP, Eng Cipriano Cassamá: “A nosso pedido o Pro-PALOP TL colaborou e guiou-nos na elaboração deste plano, mas respeitando e fazendo questão que o plano fosse nosso e não do parceiro. O projecto PRO-PALOP TL seguiu o velho ditado chines ‘ de ensinar a pescar, em vez de dar o peixe`, gesto que apreciei muito e agradeço.”
A apresentação foi feita por deputados das 3 bancadas, Arlindo Barbosa Semedo Barbosa (MLSTP); Danilson Cotú (PCD) e Abnildo Do N. D’Oliveira (ADI).
Todos estiveram muito bem. Claros e sobretudo a demonstrarem que a divergência política é saudável e tem que existir, mas há assuntos que independentemente das diferenças todos podem lutam por bem comum, neste caso um melhor parlamento. (para consultar o projecto onde se enquadra a iniciativa consultar a página fb do Pro PALOP-TL)
In Sub-Saharan Africa, elected multiparty assemblies have existed on average for no more than two decades. The following analysis seeks to comprehend and evaluate the links between citizens and their elected parliaments in 18 African countries with a particular focus on Mozambique and South Africa. It aims to address some of the scepticism, both within and outside these institutions and countries, surrounding the relationship between parliaments and citizens under these socioeconomic contexts. It does so by explaining the overall political and socioeconomic context of African multiparty parliaments and their citizens followed by a discussion of citizens’ access to parliaments and, lastly, of citizens’ perceptions of parliaments using a combination of descriptive, comparative and analytic techniques.
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This paper analyses the perceptions among survey participants, of African parliaments and presidents and examines their citizens’ attitudes towards the coexistence of these two institutions. It aims to determine the way citizens rate their parliaments compared with their presidents. It further seeks to answer the question of whether Africa remains the continent of the ‘big man’, where absolute power lies with an individual, feeding clientelistic relationships. In the decades following the transitions to independence, most of the continent was marked by a proliferation of monoparty regimes; in many cases, these were almost one-man regimes. A majority of the leaders symbolised, at an early stage of independence, the birth of the nation itself. Many times these presidents have sought to extend their incumbency perpetually. However, over the last two decades this scenario has changed considerably. Monoparty parliaments have been replaced by multiparty parliaments and executives, and presidents have found themselves needing to share their leadership of the nation with parliamentarians. Not much is known about how these emerging parliaments have been operating, but the little that is known tells us that they have faced a lack of institutionalisation and still struggle to assert their independence from strong executives. It is therefore reasonable to expect that parliaments will be perceived as dormant institutions in the public eye.
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While modern parliaments in Africa receive little attention in the scholarly literature, they are drawing considerable attention from the international donor community. Since the early 1990s, when many African countries resumed multi-party elections and democratic practices, legislative strengthening programmes have become an important part of international democracy assistance. Despite these programmes, our knowledge about Africa’s current parliaments remains limited. They seem to be widely regarded as potential agents for democratic change but whether national legislatures are in fact enhancing the quality of democracy on the African continent is far from clear. This study discusses two important issues that lie at the heart of the democracy-enhancing potential of Africa’s current parliaments: their institutional capacity and the way they are perceived by the citizens they represent. After a brief review of the existing literature on legislatures in Africa, the essay first considers whether they have the institutional capacity to fulfil a meaningful role and provides a detailed description of the autonomy of parliaments in 16 selected countries. It then turns to the way Africans perceive and evaluate their parliaments. Do citizens see their legislatures as valuable institutions? Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings for the prospects of African parliaments becoming agents of democratic change.
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