PHILIPSBURG--Members of Parliament (MPs) on Monday agreed that there will be four members maximum for each of the eleven Latin American Parliament Parlatino committees.

The MPs came to the agreement after having a closed-door meeting on the issue during an adjournment of a meeting of the Central Committee of Parliament on the issue on Monday.

Chairperson of Parliament William Marlin said faction leaders had been asked to submit the desired composition for Parlatino committees for their respective factions to the Secretary-General of Parliament. Two proposals were submitted. However, it was deemed necessary to come to a consensus on one proposal.

There had been a back-and-forth discussion about whether parliament would maintain the Parlatino membership as is. Marlin had submitted a verbal proposal to limit the number of members to two per Parlatino committee. A proposal to this effect was expected to have been submitted during Monday’s meeting. As this was not done, Marlin adjourned the meeting for MPs to have a closed-door discussion on the way forward.

He explained that as it stands now, any MP is open to be a member of any Parlatino committee with the understanding that if there are more than two members, the attendance of meetings would be decided on in alphabetical order of the MPs’ names. He said this has its challenges, as some members would be chosen multiple times due to how their names fell in the alphabet and other members would not be considered due to how their names fell in the alphabet.

When the meeting resumed, Marlin said MPs had agreed to go with a proposal to have a maximum of four members per committee, the details of which would be worked out. The intention was to ratify the members of committees in a public session of parliament, which was scheduled for 11:30am Monday, but it was decided that this meeting would now be held this Friday at 10:30am.

The 11 Parlatino committees are: the Committee of Economic Affairs, Social Debt and Regional Development; the Committee of Gender Equity, Childhood and Youth and Citizen Safety; Committee to Combat and the Prevention of Narco-Trafficking Terrorism and Organised Crime; Committee for Agriculture, Cattle Raising and Fishery; Committee of Education, Culture, Science Technology and Communication; Committee of Environment and Tourism; Committee of Health; Committee of Labour Social and Legal Affairs; Committee of Human Rights, Justice and Prison Policies; Committee of Energy and Mines, and the Committee of Political Municipal Affairs and Integration.

In accordance with parliament’s rules of order, at the beginning of each parliamentary year, during the first public meeting after the periodic resignation of an MP or after the dissolution of parliament, the chairperson assigns members to permanent committees and to committees for petition, unless parliament decides otherwise. Marlin said it has become customary that committees of parliament are established at the same time and the same is done for Parlatino committees.