Friday, August 31, 2012


Source: The Clerk to Parliament Parliamentary Decorum refers to the appropriate conduct which is expected by Members of Parliament while conducting Parliamentary business. Parliamentary Etiquette is a set of acceptable norms that regulate the behavior and conduct of Members of Parliament. Parliamentary Decorum and Etiquette relates to the mode of dressing, behavior and language of Members of Parliament. The official dress for male Members of Parliament should be a suit, a pair of long trousers, a shirt and tie and a jacket; a kanzu and jacket, a safari suit, or decent traditional wear; while that of female Members of Parliament should be a suit, a jacket, a blouse and skirt or dress, or traditional wear. Members of the Armed Forces may be dressed in Military attire. All Members should put on dignified shoes, save that a Member may, with the prior leave of the Speaker, put on foot wear which may not necessarily be described as shoes. In keeping with Parliamentary Decorum and Etiquette, a Member should not enter the Chamber while the Prayer is being read or when the Speaker or the Chairperson of the Committee of the Whole House is on her/his feet; a Member should bow to the Chair on entering or leaving his seat; and a Member should not cross the Floor of the House or move around unnecessarily. While a Member is speaking, all other Members should be silent and should not interrupt. When a Member has finished making his or her contribution, he or she should resume his or her seat. A maiden speech should not be interrupted except by the Speaker or in circumstances which in the opinion of the Speaker warrant interruption. A Member should always address the Chair. A Member is forbidden to: bring into the House any camera, arms or weapon, tape recorder, radio, mobile telephone, or other electronic devices, unless permitted by the Speaker, or under exceptional circumstances as old age and physical health; smoke or eat in the Chamber; approach the Chair personally in the House; clap in the House; indulge in inappropriate behavior; or be disrespectful towards other Members. The Speaker, who is the Presiding Officer of Parliamentary Proceedings, regulates debates and enforces strict observance of the rules, which govern orderly conduct in the House. He/she preserves the order and dignity in the proceedings of the House. In all matters, the general behavior of Members of Parliament is guided by the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to assist Members in the discharge of their obligations to the House, their constituents and the public at large.

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