Thursday, April 30, 2009


National Assembly to pass LEPI draft law

After a long delay due the successive postponements, on Wednesday, April 30, 2009 National Assembly is due to start its examination on the draft laws regarding the Voters Registry Computerization Project (in French Liste Electorale Informatisée Permanente : LEPI).

Alfred Cossi Chodaton

There are two draft laws, which have to be examined by the Parliament tomorrow. The first one is related to RENA (in French Recensement Electoral National Approfondi), which is the National Electoral Census. It is the second draft law that is about LEPI.

There have also been two proposed bills, each one, providing respectively the framework for both RENA and LEPI to become effective. MPs Karim Chabi Sika and Epiphanius Quenum are the ones that have proposed these two bills.

The Law, Administration, and Human Right Committee of the National Assembly in its report has produced a draft law, which is the result of a combined examination on the initial bills put forward to the Speaker by MPs Karim Chabi Sika and that of Epiphanius Quenum. However, the Committee also takes into account the observations of independent experts. It is a draft law made up of sixty-six (66) articles organized into five (05) Chapters.

On Monday, April 29, 2009, National Assembly took a first major step towards the implementation of the draft law over the Voters Registry Computerization Project (in French Liste Electorale Informatisée Permanente) by passing by vote the draft law about personal data protection.

However, since the vote of LEPI act has proven to be a very sensitive issue. The presidential camp as well as the opposition coalition of G4, G13, and Force Clé intends to control the vote of the draft laws on LEPI. For each camp, the LEPI act will determine the outcome of the next presidential elections scheduled to take place in March 2011. Therefore, both sides have been striving very hard to get the majority in the National Assembly.

Because of this situation, many analysts still doubt the willingness of the Parliamentarians to go ahead with LEPI. Though both sides have expressed all the times their commitment to walk towards to the effective implementation of LEPI, nothing had been done by the National Assembly for it to become real, until the Civil Society staged a demonstration in front of Palais des Gouverneurs in Porto-Novo to put pressure on the Parliamentarians.

Moreover, some MPs mostly of the opposition coalition have still been voicing their skepticism about the possibility of organizing the March 2011 presidential elections with LEPI. They say they are in favor of its implementation but, according to them, the March 2011 presidential race can be conditioned by the effectiveness. They suspect the Government might intend to do so.

Anyway, Civil Society and the citizens should keep up putting pressure on National Assembly urging the Parliamentarians to see LEPI as a priority and be ready for concessions on both sides in order to give peace a chance.

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