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Cabinet Resolution concerning new Public Assembly Bill

Legal Affairs

Cabinet Resolution concerning new Public Assembly Bill

Wed, 29 July 2015

The Cabinet of Ministers, at its sitting today, decided to recommend to the National Assembly the adoption of a new Public Assembly Bill.

The new legislation will replace the current Public Order Act 2013, which, the Constitutional Court recently ruled, contained certain elements that did not fully conform to the Constitution.

The new Public Assembly Bill 2015 contains essentially the same provisions as those proposed to Government by the Electoral Commission in July 2012, following consultations with all stakeholders.

At that time, Government opted to adopt a more comprehensive Public Order Act which Government believed took into consideration wider concerns of public safety, security and the preservation of law and order in a modern society.

In his statement on the matter, the President said "I have always said that the Government would abide by whatever ruling that the Constitutional Court came to on the subject of the Public Order Act.  Now that the ruling has been made, I think it is important for us to proceed rapidly to the adoption of a non-controversial and effective legislation on public gatherings.  Peace, stability and law and order are essential to the development of our democracy, and especially so in the remaining short period leading up to the forthcoming Presidential and National Assembly Elections.  I believe that our decision today reflects the maturity of our democracy, and our country's commitment to good governance and the rule of law."

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