Legislative Assembly Approves New Regulation

March 11, 2005

THE Legislative Assembly approved areform Tuesday to add a new article to theassembly’s regulations, which will enablemembers to speed up the passage of certainbills, according to the daily La Nación.Article 208 allows legislators, through atwo-thirds vote (38 of 57 members), toshorten the length of time allowed to discussa project. The commission in charge ofreviewing a bill can be forced to vote whentime is up even if motions are pending.The vote was passed 39-13. Proponentsinclude a majority from the SocialChristian Unity Party (PUSC) and theNational Liberation Party (PLN). Supportersof the reform claim it meansCongress will have to vote on proposalsone way or another, especially legislativeprocedures deemed of national importance,such as the Central American Free-Trade Agreement (CAFTA).Opponents of the new article, includingthe Libertarian Movement Party,claim it will affect minority parties whowill be at the mercy of procedures, thatcould violate legislative regulations.

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