The 180 Members of Parliament drawn from seven political parties represented at the National Assembly were officially received into the second arm of the State yesterday October 29, 2013.
As early as 3:00pm, the premises of the National Assembly started witnessing an influx of people. The session was chaired by the eldest member of the house, Hon Enow Tanjong of the Manyu division, assisted by Hon Jua Banitou and Hon Kwamba Solange.
“The National Assembly is meeting today in statutory ordinary session in accordance with legislative provisions”, said the dean of the house. The coming of 30 new women in the house (56 in all), representing more than 30 % of the house, three additional political parties (Union des Populations du Cameroun, UPC and the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon, MRC and the MDR of Dakolle Daissala ) as well as the present of new comers in the likes of Hon Enow Tanjong and Joshua Ossi (first Vice President of the Social Democratic Front introduces a new dispensation. “To the newly elected members of parliament, I say congratulation. To the old members of parliament, I say welcome back to the National Assembly”, said Hon Enow Tanjong. He called on both of them to be active in the control of government action. The highpoint of the statutory ordinary session was the division of the 180 MPs into 6 verification boards charged with crosschecking the files of all MPs.
Present in the hemicycle were the President of the Senate, Senator Marcel Niat Njifenji, Prime Minister Philemon Yang and members of government, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Alexis Dipanda Mouelle, members of the diplomatic corps, senior military personnel among others.Beyond Speeches, dance groups, militants of political parties and onlookers chanted at the courtyard of the National Assembly’s premises as the statutory ordinary session unfolded. Celebration, animation and wishful thinking produced high level ambiance. A huge array of people stormed the avenue of General Le Clerc, sandwiched by the National Assembly and Lyceée General Le Clerc to grease the welcome ceremony.
“We are here to support Hon Atangana Helen of the Nyong and so’o division from the Centre region. We expect her to bring solutions to our water problems, bad rural roads, electricity shortages and education related issues. In doing this, we call on her to be impartial towards the villages and localities which make up her constituency”, said Elong Celestine. She further called on parliamentarians of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement to put aside merry making from today and get to work in a bid to merit the votes of their electorate and help the President of the Republic in the materialization of the ongoing major accomplishment programme. Similar expectations were unveiled by militants of the UPC “In the Nyong and Kele division, we would never get tired of asking for more farm-to-market roads for the evacuation of our crops, we need potable water, more schools for our children and human development as a whole. These are the ideals on which our party is premised”, explains Mrs Bikoe Anne.
To lay people, being a parliamentarian simply means “working for the interest of all Cameroonians by voting laws which are propitious to nation building and rejecting those that are repugnant to justice, human rights and love for country”.According to MPs, these aspirations are reasonable and can be delivered to the electorate. All CPDM MPs are upbeat about this unlike most of their peers from the opposition.Putting aside wishes and aspirations of Cameroonians vis a vis nouveaux venus and old dears of the National Assembly, the ceremony permitted attendees in and out of the house to see and feel what parliamentary business might look like in the 9th legislature. After the official opening of the 9th legislative period, elections of the 23 man bureau would take place in the coming days. With the coming to stage of fresh blood, it is evident that there would be changes at virtually all levels.