29, June 2016
The National Assembly after scrutinizing the new penal code transmitted it to the Upper House where senators worked for five hours unending to examine the text. It was adopted despite the disapproval of the Social Democratic Front whose members staged a walk out. During the 28th June 2016 session the SDF Senators once again expressed discontentment with certain articles of the bill tabled for adoption.
The party insisted for some articles to be dropped but their views were not taken into consideration. Even though they abandoned the discussion table, deliberations continued and after five hours, the bill was adopted. Those who disapproved of the new penal code pointed out to specific articles therein. Most of those against, argued that the new law favours the rich.
A critical reading of the new text gives the impression that the Ministers are being emboldened unlike the former law where immunity was restricted only to parliamentarians, but now the law extends this immunity to members of government. The two months unpaid rents which leads to an eviction of the tenant, the con say, have been tailored to favor the landlord. The issue of adultery which many believe is a private family affair do not favor the husband who is considered the all powerful within the family circles.
These and other articles of the penal code especially that which relates to religious deceit are some issues that have not gained total approval. That notwithstanding, the Senate worked long hours this Tuesday, June 28 and adopted all 370 articles of the bill that was defended by the Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seal, Laurent Esso.