British Parliamentarians to Visit Costa Rica

September 23, 2005

SIX members of the British Parliament (MPs) will be here tomorrow through Wednesday as guests of the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly. The parliamentarians will meet with Costa Rican ministers and officials Monday and spend Tuesday in the assembly.The goal of the visit is to give parliamentarians a glimpse of the political and economic situation here, particularly in anticipation of the February 2006 elections. Legislators from both countries will exchange information on legislative procedures and campaign financing, according to a statement from the British Embassy.For example, British parliamentarians may discuss their measures for holding ministers and the government accountable for decisions, including a weekly “Question Time” in which the Prime Minister has to answer questions from the parliament.This is the first such visit of British legislators to Costa Rica in more than 30 years. The group consists of four members of the British House of Commons (lower house) and two members of the House of Lords (upper house).The group leader is Peter Kilfoyle, a member of the ruling Labour party. The rest of the delegation consists of Charlotte Atkins (Labour), Norman Baker (Liberal Democrat), Richard Shepherd (Conservative), Baroness Gale (Labour) and Baroness Hooper (Conservative).When they leave Costa Rica Wednesday, the group will go on to Nicaragua, where they will visit that country’s National Assembly and the municipalities of Granada and Masaya. Their visit will end Friday.

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