The People’s Majlis is the supreme legislative authority in the country and is one of the three principal organs of the State. Unicameral in Constitution, the People’s Majlis is vested with the power to enact, revise or amend the Constitution.
The Speaker and Deputy Speaker
- The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are elected among Members of the Majlis by secret ballot.
- The Speaker of the Majlis presides over the sittings of the Majlis. He or she is responsible for orderly debates within the Majlis by ensuring that members comply with the rules and regulations.
- The Deputy Speaker takes over responsibilities of the Speaker in his absence and assists the Speaker in the discharge of functions conferred upon him.
Structure of the People’s Majlis
The current 18th People’s Majlis is comprised of 85 elected Members, instated on 28 May 2014. The term of the People’s Majlis is 5 years.
Functions of the People’s Majlis
1. Formulating, amending and abolishing laws.
2. Amending the constitution.
3. Holding the government accountable by supervision of policies and actions.
4. Approval of State Budget.
5. Holding public referendums.
6. Determination of matters related to independent commissions and independent offices.
The Quorum of a sitting of the Majlis is 25 percent of its members. If any time during a sitting of the Majlis, quorum is lost, such sittings are then adjourned or suspended until quorum is met.
Functions of Members of Parliament
Members of the People’s Majlis should be guided in their actions by considerations of national interest and public welfare foremost, and should not exploit their official positions in any way for their own benefit or for the benefit of those with whom they have special relations. They shall represent not only their constituencies but the whole country as a whole.
There are two types of parliamentary committees in the Majlis: Standing Committees and Select Committees.
Standing Committees are permanent committees to which members are elected by the Majlis for examining Bills in detail and to conduct further review on the subject matter for a comprehensive study.
Select Committees are temporary committees elected among members to deal with a specific issue or a Bill and they cease to exist once the inquiry is over or the issue is resolved.
There are 13 Standing Committees in the Majlis. They meet regularly to study bills, issues, petitions, motions, etc. referred to them by the Majlis. During the Second Reading, the bills are debated and amendments are proposed in the Committee. Once the review of a bill is completed, the Committee will issue a report to the main Majlis outlining their findings and recommendations pertaining to the bill.
The People’s Majlis Secretariat
The administration of the People’s Majlis is served and managed by the People’s Majlis Secretariat. Independent from the Government, the People’s Majlis Secretariat is headed by the Secretary General. He is responsible for organizing the proceedings of the Majlis.