Covid-19: Angolan Parliament unanimously approves Civil Protection Law

The legal diploma, which amends the Basic Civil Protection Law, was approved with 190 votes in favor, with no votes against or abstentions.

After approval, requests for declarations of votes were made, with the deputy of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA, in power), Tomás da Silva, considering the need to update and conform the civil protection system to the Constitution of the Republic of Angola, which was assumed by its parliamentary group, “not only as a question of a purely legal-constitutional nature, but also as an extremely important and urgent issue and challenge of national interest”.

“The MPLA parliamentary group voted in favor, because the policy measures provided for in the revised law will be carried out without any limitation or suspension of the citizen's fundamental rights, freedoms and guarantees,” said Tomás da Silva, recalling that “Angola has now become, like most countries in the world, in a risk society, where covid-19 is the main challenge and the enemy of all Angolans without distinction ”.

According to the deputy, the present revised law not only removed the rules contrary to the Constitution and submitted omissions, but also assigned sufficient instruments to the Angolan President to formulate and implement measures in situations of great collective risk.

In turn, the vice president of the parliamentary group of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA, the largest opposition party), Maurílio Luiele, stressed that the urgent character with which the proposal for a law, a government initiative, was submitted, “Raised concerns among the various parliamentary groups and representatives of political parties”.

“Fears that are justified, in the context of the particular situation we are experiencing today, dominated by the covid-19 pandemic, which has practically forced states at the global level to take measures, many of which, in some way, restrict fundamental rights,” he said. .

Maurílio Luiele said that the debate in the specialty allowed to clarify many of the doubts raised and to build consensus around fundamental issues that are foreseen in this law, “showing once again, the virtues of dialogue and frank debate in democracy”.

The leader of the parliamentary bench of the Wide Convergence of Salvation of Angola – Electoral Coalition (CASA-CE), Alexandre Sebastião, said that the favorable vote arises from the understanding that “there was a need for its conformity with the Constitution and from the point of view institutional ”.

“We also voted in favor of this law, because we noticed that our legislation needed an adequate law, updated, in relation to the new phenomena, facts, that arise as much caused by men, as by the very nature, and that (needed) to adapt if a firm, legal performance, on the part of those who have this great responsibility, in this case the holder of the executive power ”, he said.

In the same vein, the parliamentary representations of the Social Renewal Party (PRS) and the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) considered it opportune to amend the previous law, which was out of date.

Benedito Daniel, from the PRS, justified the vote by stating that the need to change the Basic Civil Protection Law of 2003, for bringing outdated standards to the context, had long been imposed, while Lucas Ngonda, of the FNLA, considered that the law has filled the gaps that existed in the previous law.

The main changes to the law were verified in article 4, with the introduction of new points, namely number seven, which created more discussions at the time of the discussions, as it proved to be unconstitutional.

“The measures taken by the President of the Republic, as holder of the executive power, under the present law, may not, under any circumstances, call into question citizens' rights, freedoms and guarantees, as well as article 58 of the Constitution of the Republic Angola ”, establishes the new law proposal.

Among the amendments proposed by the deputies, there is also the introduction of paragraph d) of number one of article 4, according to which the activities that involve the mass participation of citizens, can be suspended or limited “as long as there is a risk of contagion or insecurity of citizens ”.

The law now approved allows framing the state of calamity, which the President of the Republic of Angola, João Lourenço, is preparing to declare as of Monday, according to the Angolan press, which cites presidential sources.

The country ends on May 25 the third extension of the state of emergency, first declared on March 27 to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Angola currently registers 60 cases of covid-19 infection, of which three resulted in deaths.

NME / RCR // JH

The Covid-19 content: Angolan Parliament approves Civil Protection Law with unanimous changes appears first in Visão.

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