International Democracy Day : What do citizens expect from their parliament ?
Like the rest of the world, the Republic of Djibouti has celebrated the International Day of Democracy on Thursday, September 15. A celebration marked by a series of meetings organized by the National Assembly with young students, the first of which took place at the Djibouti State High School.
In this occasion, the National Assembly will tour for 5 days, from September 15 to 20, the capital’s various secondary schools. At these various events, Djiboutian parliamentarians will strive to popularize the democracy virtues to young students who may become one day this country future legislators.
MPs have thus visited 2 schools: the State High School and the Industrial and Commercial High School (LIC). As with many countries around the world, the Republic of Djibouti through the National Assembly celebrated last Thursday, September 15, 2011, the day of democracy established by the UN. The theme for this year’s celebration is: "Youth and Democracy."
This International Day 4th edition, organized in partnership with UNDP and the initiative of the Interparliamentary Union, aims to promote dialogue with citizens and highlight a message: What does the Citizen expect from their parliament?
Indeed, the celebration of this day began in Djibouti state high school on Thursday. A meeting was hosted by members of parliament, and will continue in the capital various secondary schools.
Today's young students are guests in this grand event because they "were the instigators of this year’s events to make democracy a profound reality," as so aptly pointed out by UN Secretary General. This day belongs to them. They are this country’s future legislators.
Youth is the future, they say. That's why the National Assembly, represented by parliamentarians, went to meet the students to enable them to understand the power of democracy. "A democracy fit for us!" Led by 3 MPs, students from the state high school had to take the full satisfaction of democracy values.
Parliamentarians, in this case Mr. Abdurahman Hassan Rayaleh, Ms Degmo Mohamed Issack and Mrs. Hasna Houmed Bilili have briefly explained the genesis, organization and the role of their institution. In turn, the parliamentarians have defined the prerogatives engaged by the National Assembly in its exercise.
After an overview of the functions of the National Assembly, MPs held an interactive exchange with the students. A debate has also helped on one hand, to better understand the role of an MP and on the other hand, express grievances to be transmitted to the competent authorities.
Like a young girl who has expressed the wish to see students dress the same uniform in schools. Thus, she said, no social distinction will be made.
Exchanges between parliamentarians and students have been successful. Among the questions from the audience, some were general, while others were social ... etc.
Some questions were about, the problem of unemployment, health, equity between MPs, or as one made by a student, is there a model of democracy? etc ....
Many issues were raised. On the register of health, a young student questioned his interlocutors in formulating a relevant question: Why do you refuse a student to present himself alone and get a medical care, to the extent that he exceeded the minority age (18) in institutions such as the SMI?
In response, MP Hasna Houmed Bilili said that a system of universal care will be established soon to deal with major students or those whose parents are unemployed.
Another highlight of the debate is the question asked by a young student, asking why our democracy is not like that of the West? With much humour, the senior MP, Mr. Abdurahman Hassan Rayaleh replied "our country has specific legislation to it”.
“We have nothing to envy other countries. We have our own democracy and our own culture, which reflects our history and our identity”, said the MP " Why women are less represented than men? "... It was the same tempo, industrial and commercial high school (LIC). The room full of students flocked to hear the plea of Djiboutian Deputies.
The parliamentarians were, this time, Mr. Bourhan Mohamed Ali and Mrs. Aicha Dabar Guelleh. And exchanges were always eloquent and instructive for students. MPs responded frankly to the questions raised by the LIC students.
The integration of women in the parliamentary sphere has at least been the focus of exchanges between parliamentarians and students.
To the question why women are less represented than men, MP Aicha Dabar said, "many efforts have been made in this direction”. At the 6th legislature, women account for 14% while in 2003, the 4th term, women were 7, with a rate of 10%. "
After many details of questions asked by students, parliamentarians have conducted a series of questionnaires to see what students have learned from their advocacy of democracy. For their participation, gifts were donated to students.