Hon. Sooroojdev PHOKEER, GCSK,
GOSK Elected Speaker as from 21 November 2019
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 a candidate.
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 Assembly.
Hon. NAZURALLY Mohammud Zahid,
Elected Speaker as from 21 November 2019
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
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
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
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
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 Vinod Pannoo,
Assistant Superintendent of PoliceThe Serjeant At
Arms as from 03 April 2015
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 facilities.
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 of Parliament.