Hon. Sooroojdev PHOKEER, GCSK,
GOSK Elected Speaker as from 21 November 2019
The Speakership is the most
important office in the House. The first business of the House is to
elect a Speaker when the Assembly first meets, after a general election.
The Constitution provides that the Speaker may or may not be an elected
Member of the House. The Government and the Opposition normally agree on
The main function of the Speaker is to ensure that the
Standing Orders and
Rules of the National Assembly are complied with. The Speaker interprets and
enforces the Standing Orders and for the purpose of interpretation, recourse
is often had to Erskine May's Parliamentary Practice, responds to Members'
points of order and give rulings when necessary. His ruling cannot be
challenged, except on a substantive motion to that effect, and any criticism
of his actions outside Parliament may amount to contempt of the National
Hon. NAZURALLY Mohammud Zahid,
Elected Speaker as from 21 November 2019
At the beginning of each Parliament, the House also
elects a Member to the position of Deputy Speaker, proceeding in the same
manner as for the election of the Speaker. In the absence of the Speaker or
whenever requested by the latter, the Deputy Speaker takes the Chair and has
the same powers and functions as the Speaker.
The Deputy Speaker is also the Chairman of Committees
when the Speaker chooses not to chair the Committee.
See more Former Deputy
Hon. NUCKCHEDDY Sanjit Kumar,
Elected Speaker as from 21 November 2019
The Deputy Chairman of Committees is another official of
the National Assembly elected from amongst its Members. The process of
election of the Deputy Chairman of Committees is similar to that of the
Deputy Speaker . In the absence of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker,
the Deputy Chairman of Committees presides over the Committee of the whole
See more Former Deputy
Chairman of Committees
Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, The
Leader of the House as from 24 January 2017
The Leader of the House is normally the Leader of a Party
or Alliance, who controls the majority in the House, and as such, it is the
Prime Minister who assumes this role.
List of Former Leaders of
Hon. DUVAL Charles Gaëtan Xavier-Luc, GCSK,
FCA, The Leader of the Opposition
After a general election, the party or party alliance
which commands a majority forms the Government, while the other party or
party alliance provides the Opposition. The Leader of the second largest
majority party in the Assembly becomes the Leader of the Opposition. The
Leader of the Opposition is appointed by the President. His task is usually
to level criticism against the policy and administration of Government and
to outline the alternative policies.
At the beginning of each Parliament, a Government Chief
Whip, a Deputy Government Whip and an Opposition Whip are appointed. The
main responsibility of the Whips is to ensure the smooth running of the
parliamentary machinery. The parliamentary work load of the Chief Government
Whip is somewhat heavier by reason that he is concerned, amongst other
matters, with the details of the Government business of the day, for
example, to estimate the time likely to be taken by each item. He is
directly responsible to the Leader of the House.
The Government Chief Whips and the Opposition Whip liaise
with each other in relation to business arrangements and to matters of
concern to the House such as, drawing up a list of orators for the debate in
respect of a Bill, which is being presented.
The Whips keep their Members informed about the business
of the House, secure the attendance of Members and act as intermediairies
between the leaders and the rank and file of their parties in order to keep
each informed of the views of the other.
The Secretariat of the Assembly is headed by the Clerk of
the Assembly. She provides the Speaker and Members with secretarial
assistance. She is the chief administrative officer of the National Assembly
and works under the control of the Speaker. She is a permanent officer and a
member of the Civil Service, having expert knowledge in parliamentary
procedures and practice. She is the custodian of all documents and records
pertaining to the Assembly. She advises the Speaker and Members on matters
of procedure. She sits at the Table. She sends to each Member a copy of the
Order Paper. The Clerk must see to it that the bills passed by the National
Assembly are assented to by the President of the Republic and published in
the Government Gazette.
In the performance of her duties, the Clerk is assisted
by the Deputy Clerk and two Clerk Assistants.
The Mace is the symbol of the authority of the
The Mace is the symbol of the authority of the House. The
Mace used in Mauritius is a gift of the British House of Commons. On
entering and leaving the Chamber - at the beginning and end of the sitting -
the Speaker is preceded by the Mace, which is carried by the
Serjeant-at-arms on his right shoulder. When the Speaker is in the Chair,
that is, when the House is sitting as a House, the Mace lies on the Table of
the House, resting in the upper brackets. When the House sits as a
committee, that is, when the Speaker leaves the Chair, the Mace is removed
into the lower brackets beneath the Table. When the Mace is not in the
House, no business can be carried out.
Mr Anirood BundhooThe Serjeant At
Arms as from 23 March 2021
The duty of the Serjeant-at-Arms is to maintain order
within the grounds of Parliament House. He leads the procession at the
Parliament sitting, bearing the Mace on his right shoulder.
He regulates the admission of the public to Parliament
House and has the power to arrest, without a warrant, upon the orders of the
Speaker, any person creating a disturbance in Parliament.
The staff of the Secretariat consists of the Clerk, the
Deputy Clerk, the Clerk Assistant, the librarian, the parliamentary
reporters and supporting staff.
The Parliament Library is meant for the exclusive use of
Members of Parliament. It is involved in the collection, organization and
dissemination of information. The library has a collection of approximately
8000 volumes, consisting of books, journals, newspapers, parliamentary
publications, debates and legislation. Parliamentary business is now
available online. Members of Parliament benefit also from Internet
The Parliamentary reporters take down, word-for-word,
what is being said in the debates. These reporters take their notes in
shorthand before transcribing them. The notes are then compiled and
published as the Official Reports of Parliament, more popularly known as the
Hansard. The reporters record in verbatim the proceedings in the House and
take turns to sit in the Chamber for 10 minutes. The parliamentary
reporters also take down the note for the meetings of the various committees