MpD parliamentary leader Fernando Elísio Freire promises that the debate on the Environment Fund will be aimed at “clarifying the situation and holding the government politically accountable for the smorgasbord into which the Environment Fund has been transformed.” With regards to the “almost personal use of public money bordering on corruption and disrespect for the Cape Verdean population,” he will also demand the government take on its responsibilities.
Freire is equally critical of the justice sector: “the problems of recent years have been the same.” As such, Freire concludes that “someone is not resolving them,” adding “it’s not just a matter of means, but of the right investments. However, it’s in the social sphere that justice is not fulfilling its role and is turning into a barrier,” he says, because “adequate investments were not made.”
Freire goes further still, affirming that the PAICV did not make investments in the justice sector in accordance with the country’s needs, but rather in accordance with those of the party. “It’s not because of a lack of public money, which is being used in other less important places. The country is setting the wrong priorities.” He also highlighted the fact that the number of pending cases in courts remains at between 11,000 and 12,000.
For his part, the parliamentary leader of the governing PAICV, Felisberto Vieira, gave an entirely different reading of the situation. Vieira believes that “no one has any doubt that there’s been extraordinary progress in the Cape Verdean judiciary system,” progress that is grounded in a “growing modernization process with major reforms on various levels: the legal and institutional edifice, computerization, and the training and specialization of justice workers,” among others.
Vieira concludes, as such, that the government “has made vital investments in the justice sector in order for it to be able to continue to guarantee quick, fair and effective performance that provides ever greater confidence to Cape Verdean citizens.” Vieira also asked justice sector workers to keep in mind the reality of the country in which they live, and to weigh the pressure of resources, given the existence of other sectors that are equally short of means. Nevertheless, Vieira promises that his party’s portrait of the justice sector will be “realistic, responsible and positive.”
The relatively short parliamentary year stands in contrast to the weighty agenda of its opening session, with 18 bills up for review and approval.