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Parliamentarians in China

By Anna Ramdass

A parliamentary delegation from Trinidad and Tobago is currently in China to observe the operations of its parliament and its modern use of technology, among other things.

House Speaker Wade Mark, Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and People's National Movement Senator Faris Al Rawi are on the official visit from today until December 12.

Clerk of the House Jacqui Sampson-Meiguel and Marshal of the Parliament Brian Ceasar are also part of the delegation.

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament website, China has the largest parliament in the world and it would be "interesting and informative for the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago to observe the procedures, operations and challenges of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China as it functions through its standing committee and other committees".

The website stated further that the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago hosted a high-level delegation from the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China last March, which was headed by Wang Zhaoguo, vice-chairman of the standing committee of China's National People's Congress and Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

During that visit, the invitation to visit China's National People's Congress was renewed.

The Parliament website stated that the proposed visit would allow members to:

• share and gather "good practices" on the impact and difference in political leadership and decision-making;

• gather information on the modernisation of laws relating to powers, privileges and immunities of Parliament;

• understand how ICT (information and communications technology) is utilised in the proceedings and management of Parliament;

• promote co-operation between the National People's Congress of China and the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Next week, a number of other T&T parliamentarians are scheduled to attend a two-day programme on financial oversight—at Westminster, London, England—on December 11 and 12.

Members participating are Government Ministers Marlene Coudray, Jamal Mohammed, Embau Moheni, Opposition MP Colm Imbert and Opposition Senator Fitzgerald Hinds. The Parliament's procedural clerks, Ralph Deonarine and Keiba Jacob will also be attending.

According to the Parliament website, the programme will take the form of a joint programme with members of the Public Accounts Committee from the Parliament of Uganda.

The programme will seek to explore the practices, procedures and challenges of the Public Accounts Committee in the UK Parliament, with the overall aim of increasing the capacity and effectiveness of the committees represented.

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