Opening of the 2nd Ordinary Session of Parliament in 2022: the prowess of Benin parliamentary diplomacy

The Second Ordinary Session of the Legislative Assembly of Benin opened with an appeal of the Speaker of the Parliament, Louis GbèhounouVlavonou, for citizens to strictly follow the guidelines of the law and respect the rules provided for in the organization of the legislative elections of 08 January 2023.

He reminded the electorate and the entire nation to limit competition to the political arena in a cordial atmosphere, imbued with the values of tolerance, solidarity and peace so dear to democracy.

Being the last session of the 8th Parliament, Vlavonou noted that in view of the upcoming elections, he is aware that most MPs are very busy. That is why he is concerned and believes that everything should end very quickly, so that they could devote themselves properly to preparing the elections

“To be clear, we will try to speed up the process without rushing it because all is well, which ends well. With rigour and determination, we started this Parliament and we are heading towards the end in the same spirit. It is a republican duty, and until the end, we will do so generously in the best interests of Benin and her people, whom we are here to represent.” said the president.

He therefore called on them to show patriotism and self-denial, because it is out of the question for things to be done in haste. He indicated that procedures have been put in place to ensure that the work is done diligently and appropriately.

During this eighth (8th) legislature, he said, one of the achievements was the offensive parliamentary diplomacy conducted in honor of a Beninese commitment. According to him, the commitment of the Beninese parliament in the fight against corruption has been recognized and praised at the continental level.

“Another illustration is that our Parliament, alerted by the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) after the 2019 parliamentary elections, is finally, by my modest person, brought to the Bureau of the same institution: We have overcome fatality! Because parliamentary diplomacy has paid off.”
As regards the progress made in carrying out their duties, he said: It is an indisputable fact that during this legislature, parliamentary diplomacy has attained many points because not only has the presence of Beninese deputies been strengthened throughout the regional parliaments, but also the positions of responsibility to which they are elected.
He also welcomed the fact that the Benin Parliament has hosted several sub-regional meetings in recent years, and we can welcome this. He added that several visits also took place between the National Assembly of Benin and some of its neighbours in the West African sub-region, including those of Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo.
“As far as I am concerned, I have spoken about a number of important issues at the international meetings I have attended. I also received a considerable number of foreign personalities, mainly diplomats,” he noted.

All these activities, he said, are sufficient evidence that the Parliament of Benin has strengthened its international presence and image.
“As if to end the legislature in style, I have been appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the Network of African Anti-Corruption Parliamentarians (APNAC) for the next two (02) years, at the end of the eighth (8th) biennial General Assembly of the Network held in Cotonou from 26 to 28 July 2022.” , informed Vlavonou.

Speaking of political reforms, the Head of Parliament noted that the country has experienced a series of political reforms that are essentially of two kinds: those imposed by external constraints and those that directly affect the government itself-even of the parliamentary institution

As for the political and institutional reforms initiated by the Head of State and enshrined in the structuring laws adopted by the National Assembly, according to the President, they have had a real and perceptible impact on all vital sectors of the Nation. In fact, the eighth (8th) Parliament had an abundant legislative production, marked by the adoption of about a hundred laws, the most important of which will be presented to you and commented on in the form of a work that will be left to posterity. Already, I would like to recall that some of these laws relate to the political management of the State, others to the bases of integrated economic development, others to the improvement of social benefits, while a proportion is related to the most diverse areas of legislation.” He declared.

In addition to the laws passed, several others are currently under consideration or are ready for consideration by the National Assembly, following the tabling of the committees’ report.

With regard to internal reforms, Parliament said that they were aimed at improving its own functioning and at modernizing its administration and making it more efficient.

The colorful ceremony held in the National Assembly’s Chamber was attended by several personalities including the Presidents of the Institutions of the Republic, members of the Government, members of the diplomatic corps, the political and administrative authorities of the city of Porto-Novo, as well as the religious and traditional leaders.

The President of the National Assembly has therefore presented the context in which this 2nd ordinary session will operate as a budgetary session, with the first plenary session scheduled for Monday, October 31, 2022.

Story By: Florence D.Y. GBOLU

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