Friday, August 31, 2012


Source: Clerk to Parliament ‘Personal Explanation’ is a procedural tool used by a Member, with the prior permission of the Presiding Officer who is allowed to make a statement in response to the comments and criticism of personal nature made by a fellow Member or a Minister on the floor of the House. This right is also exercised by a Member when his/her conduct has been referred to, in a report laid on the Table of the House or when he/she wants to rebut some allegations made against him/her. This right is enjoyed by a Member notwithstanding the fact that the allegations made against him/her in the House do not pertain to his capacity as a Member of Parliament. The Rules of Procedure of the Parliament provide that any Member may with permission of the Speaker, make a personal explanation not exceeding fifteen minutes where an MP’s name has been brought in disrepute. SCOPE A Member may make a personal explanation with the permission of the Speaker in regard to: Comments or criticism of a personal nature made against him by a fellow Member or a Minister on the floor of the House; His/her conduct referred to in a report laid on the table of the House; and Public allegations made against him/her. After the Personal Explanation no further questions or counter statements or explanations are allowed. The Personal Explanation does not attract debate. PROCEDURE TO BE ALLOWED A Member wishing to make a statement by way of Personal Explanation should write to the Speaker in advance enclosing a copy of the statement to be made by him/her in first person. A Member is not permitted to make a Personal Explanation unless a copy thereof has been submitted in writing to the Speaker and its text has been approved by him or her. The statement should be brief and concise and should not introduce any controversial or debatable matter. Words, phrases and expressions which are not in the statement approved by the Speaker, if spoken, shall not form part of the proceedings of the House. After the Speaker has granted the permission, the item is normally included in the List of Business for the following day. As far as possible, the Member on whose remarks the Personal Explanation is based, is informed about the Personal Explanation being made.

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