The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has said that security threats to Parliament are beyond Members of Parliament and it is important for the government and the population to appreciate that the global security threats affect everyone if Parliament is attacked.
The Speaker is attending the 23rd Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
Kadaga emphasized that the threat goes beyond Members of Parliament but the country at large therefore, Speakers should understand that their role in maintaining the security of the House is distinct.
“With the global threat of terrorism, parliaments must be constantly vigilant in balancing national and human security and individual freedoms,” she said.
Rt. Hon. Geoff Regan, the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada said that it is important for the government to budget for security in Parliament and other integrated forces in totality in order to safeguard the institution.
He emphasized that by citing the attack on the Canadian Parliament Hill that left several officers dead and the entire country’s faith and its safety tested.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons pointed out that ‘’as Speakers, we are responsible for the control and administration of the parliamentary precincts.
The precincts of Parliament are those areas under the control and administration of the Speaker on behalf of the House and occupied by the House and its committees’’.
The Presiding Officers appreciated that the role of security should be adequately delegated by the Speaker to the integrated agencies but also the available security be enhanced.
The three-day conference brings together Speakers and Presiding Officers of 155 countries of the Commonwealth with the objective to maintain, foster, and encourage impartiality and fairness on the part of Speakers and Presiding Officers of Parliaments; Promote knowledge and understanding of parliamentary democracy in its various forms.
The conference is to discuss issues relating to security of parliament, challenges facing the independence of speakers, parliamentary privilege, protecting the effective functioning democracies.