Thursday, August 23, 2012
PETITIONS TO UGANDA PARLIAMENT
Source: The Clerk to Parliament A Petition is a written prayer or plea presented to Parliament with the object of persuading Parliament to take action. Petitioning is one way by which citizens can make requests to Parliament through a Member of Parliament. Any citizen (s) or resident (s) of Uganda may petition Parliament. The subject of a petition must be a matter on which Parliament has the power to act, that is, it must be within the Constitutional or any other legal mandate of Parliament. SCOPE AND OBJECTIVE OF PETITIONS Petitions may be presented to Parliament with the consent of the Speaker: On a Bill which has been published or is before the House, On any matter connected with business pending before the House; Or any matter of general public interest. Petitions may not be presented on matters: Before court; That breache the privileges of Parliament. Petitions serve two principal objects, namely: To state the merits of a public or individual matter to which the petitioner wishes to invite the attention of Parliament; To secure administrative remedy through a legislative process. FORM OF PETITIONS All Petitions are required to be written in English. In effect, a petition should meet the following essential requirements: A formal address to the Speaker of Parliament; A concise statement of the grievance; A prayer at the beginning stating the definite object in regard to the matter the petition relates to or the nature of relief asked for; The prayer shall appear at the head of each subsequent page; The name and address of the petitioner, authenticated by his/her signature or, by his or her thumb print; The name and signature of a Member of Parliament presenting the petition; Free from any interlineations or erasures; and Be written in a calm, polite and respectful language. The style and format in which a petition to Parliament shall be drawn up is provided for the Rules of Procedure under Appendix E. PRESENTATION OF PETITIONS Subject to the Rules of Procedure, every petition is presented to the House by a Member of Parliament. A Member who intends to present a petition gives advance notice to the Speaker. A Member presenting a petition is responsible for the observance of the rules pertaining to the presentation of petitions and will ensure that the petition is properly worded. The Office of the Clerk to Parliament, where necessary, affords the Member presenting the petition professional assistance in the drafting of the petition. A Member presenting a petition to the House shall not alter the content and terms of the petition or place his or her own content and terms of the petition or place his or her own interpretation on it. Petitions are filed with the Clerk who notifies the Whips and tables them (petitions) before the Business Committee. Upon presentation, a petition is laid on Table under the direction of the Speaker. In presenting a petition, a Member confines himself/herself to the statement of the petitioner(s). Any Member may move a motion that the petition be rejected on the ground that it is not properly and respectfully worded or on any other ground and if the motion is duly seconded and carried, the petition shall be rejected. All petitions are laid on the table without question put and a petition may be ordered to be printed or, if relating to a matter other than a Bill before a Committee, may be referred to that Committee by the Speaker for consideration. No action taken upon a petition shall prejudice the subsequent reference of the petition to a Select Committee on a Bill under Rule 119. After consideration of a petition, the House may take any decision it considers appropriate, and communicate to the petitioner through the Office of the Speaker.