GOVERNANCE

Public involvement enhances credibility, says Muturi

Says days of parliaments as elitist institutions bestowed with exclusive power are ending

In Summary

• Speaker calls for citizen engagement to enhance openness, transparency and accountability

• Says modern parliamentary democracy calls for continuous engagement and deliberate involvement of citizens

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi during the opening ceremony of the 25th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) in Ottawa, Canada
ENGAGEMENT: National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi during the opening ceremony of the 25th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) in Ottawa, Canada
Image: /COURTESY

Public involvement is a constitutional requirement to enhance openness, transparency and accountability, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has said.

He said modern parliamentary democracy calls for continuous engagement and deliberate involvement of citizens in the formulation, coordination, implementation and monitoring of policies, programmes and legislation.

"The traditional nature of parliaments as institutions that housed a club of elitist representatives bestowed with the exclusive power to make decisions on behalf of the people is rapidly changing. Citizens are better informed and want to be directly involved in decisions that affect their lives," Muturi said.

 

The Speaker made the remarks during the opening ceremony of the 25th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) in Ottawa, Canada.

He urged legislators to embrace the implementation of the 2012 Rome Declaration of Parliamentary Openness.

During the World e-Parliament Conference in Rome on September 15, 2012, legislative bodies resolved to increase commitment to openness and to citizen engagement in parliamentary work.

Making his remarks on the same subject, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malaysia Nga Kor Ming said active participation by the citizens can increase legislative productivity since tracking and monitoring is followed closely by concerned citizens.

He said open parliaments will encourage parliaments to consider changes that take into consideration the aspiration of the people and improve the relationship of trust between the public and parliament.

The four-day forum, hosted by the Parliament of Canada, brought together Parliament Speakers and Presiding Officers from over 50 Commonwealth Parliamentary Association member states.