Tynwald experience of lifetime

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A study visit to Tynwald by a delegation from the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) of the Parliament of Kenya has been hailed an ‘experience of a lifetime’ by Senator David Musila MP.

Senator Musila was speaking at the conclusion of the delegation’s four-day visit, the programme for which was arranged by the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office to provide an insight into parliamentary practices and procedures and the delivery of support to members in a small parliament.

The visit built on links first forged in 2010 by MHKs Juan Watterson and Phil Gawne at the 56th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Nairobi. In 2011 those links developed when officers from the Parliament of Kenya made a study tour to Tynwald against the background of the country’s newly formed constitution, and were strengthened in 2014 when Tynwald welcomed a delegation from the County Assembly of Laikipia in north-central Kenya.

This latest visit provided opportunities for the nine-strong delegation, headed by the Hon Justin Muturi, (pictured, centre, holding plaque) Speaker of the Kenyan National Assembly, to observe sittings of the House of Keys and the Legislative Council, which proved of particular interest, the Parliament of Kenya having moved to a bi-cameral parliamentary system in 2012.

Senator Musila said: ‘We have all been touched by the warmth of welcome extended to us and by how every question we asked received a frank and honest reply. The study visit has been an opportunity to renew our acquaintance with the institution of Tynwald and remind us of the close relationship and historical ties between our country and the Isle of Man.

‘Observing proceedings on the House of Keys and Legislative Council reinforced our view that even in a modern parliament tradition is still important. We were also interested to learn of the outreach work Tynwald undertakes, such as the annual sitting of Junior Tynwald. We, too, believe that the people whom parliament serves should never be taken for granted; it is, after all, their parliament.’

He went on to say that learning how Tynwald was harnessing the power of IT and social media to engage with as a wide an audience as possible had proved extremely valuable. He said it was an area the PSC would wish to explore further, prompting him to comment: ‘We will definitely be coming back.’

Reflecting on the visit he said: ‘What we have learned during our time at Tynwald has been so much more than just procedures. In more than 20 years as a parliamentarian this visit to Tynwald and the Isle of Man stands out the most. It has been an experience of a lifetime.’

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