Assembly Members Struggling to Fit the Bill

More than three months after taking their seats, members of the transitional National Assembly find themselves neck-deep in the mundane details of modern government. Lawmakers meet three days a week, and sessions, broadcast live on state TV, are often as compelling as C-Span on an off-day, although the overall feeling of chaos waiting to erupt adds a touch of unpredictability. Many voters, who risked their lives to cast ballots in January, believe that the lawmakers are preoccupied with their “chairs” — a local term for power and perks. However, as Speaker Hachim Hassani points out, “sometimes it’s very difficult for people to realize what we have accomplished in the last months. We didn’t have a parliamentary system here. Most of the people never had the experience to be deputy of the parliament and things like that. We are all learning in this process.”

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