Assembleia Nacional of Cape Verde
Written on September, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting impact on the world and has changed the way many organizations function, including national governments. The National Assembly of Cape Verde is one such example of a legislative body that has adapted to the new normal by employing remote deliberations to maintain the regular functioning of state institutions while safeguarding public health.
Cape Verde: A Brief Overview
Cape Verde, a small country on the west coast of Africa, has a resident population of around 500 thousand inhabitants and more than 1 million in the diaspora. The legislative body consists of 72 deputies and 5 specialized committees.
Adopting Videoconferencing Platforms
To cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic, the National Assembly of Cape Verde invested in videoconferencing platforms. However, some issues were detected early on, such as deputies not being able to see the virtual plenary room as a whole, poor image and sound quality, and the need for a more efficient electronic voting system.
Improving the Legislative Functioning
Several measures were taken to improve the remote legislative functioning, such as developing a tool for electronic voting that could be used by deputies on videoconference, improving the visualization of the number of participants, and enhancing the system for managing points of order.
Parliamentary Work During the Pandemic
Despite the challenges, the National Assembly continued to function effectively during the pandemic, holding 16 parliamentary sessions, 31 committee meetings, passing 19 laws, and adopting 19 resolutions up until September 2020.
Access to Information and Broadcasting
The National Assembly ensured that all the information related to the legislative process was available on the Portal of the Parliamentary Legislative Information System (SILP). Moreover, parliamentary sessions were broadcast on the National Assembly’s web channel, YouTube, and Facebook, garnering more than 166 thousand views from various countries.
Supporting Deputies and Technicians
To guarantee the full functioning of the National Assembly, deputies and technicians who faced issues with internet access were provided with support through a telephone service provider, and those in need were given mobile devices.
The Role of Cape Verde in CPLP
As the presiding country of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), Cape Verde is working on a new website to improve the processing of documents among member countries, further demonstrating its commitment to adapt to the new normal.
The experience of the National Assembly of Cape Verde highlights the importance of flexibility, innovation, and collaboration during times of crisis. By embracing technology and investing in solutions that enhance remote legislative functioning, Cape Verde has managed to uphold its democratic processes while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its citizens
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