Cyprus Mail

Parliament wants to be more people-centric

THE House of Representatives on Friday decided on the creation of a parallel parliament aimed at reaching out more to constituents, which will start operating in September.

The parallel chamber will have a coordinated interactive relationship with society and residents in order to highlight the various problems in civil society and to strengthen participatory democracy, pluralism and transparency, opening the parliament to the people, House speaker Demetris Syllouris said in an introductory speech.

It was imperative, he said, that MPs not only carry out legislative work and parliamentary activities, but also listen to the problems of their constituents on an organised basis and to ensure there was a permanent dialogue with them.

Such an institution would increase the participation of people in political life who are now mere spectators, the House Speaker said.

The parallel parliament is a follow-up to the conferences organised by the House on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and intends to highlight the importance of research, innovation and digital governance in everyday life, linking it to entrepreneurship and development.

The UK and Australian parliaments have been using a second, parallel chamber to aid the parliamentary process for more than 20 years.

The parallel chambers do not take votes. When a matter needs to be settled, it is referred to the House. Proceedings are open to the public.

According to the World Economic Forum, the Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work and relate to one another. It is a new chapter in human development, enabled by extraordinary technology advances commensurate with those of the first, second and third industrial revolutions.

The speed, breadth and depth of this revolution forces us to rethink how countries function, how organisations create value and what the role of individuals is, the body believes.


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