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NO SEATS FOR DIPLOMATS’ FRIENDS IN PUBLIC GALLERY

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LOBAMBA - Diplomats will not be allowed to sit with their friends and companions inside the Parliament public gallery during the official opening next week.


This is one of the strict precautions that the organising committee has taken as a means of avoiding overcrowding at the much anticipated event.


Having been faced with the challenge of overcrowding especially in the public gallery in previous years, the committee has taken a stand that diplomats will not sit with their companions and only their spouses will be allowed.


During a meeting by the different committees yesterday, it was noted that the gallery seats where diplomats sit usually become overcrowded as most diplomats come with their companions or friends who accompany them. This leads to a situation where extra chairs have to be supplied which leads to less breathing space inside the chambers.


Clerk to Parliament Ndvuna Dlamini, who chaired the meeting, called on the committee to ensure that protocol officers, who would be managing the sitting arrangement to allow only the diplomats and their spouses inside the chambers.
Another strict rule communicated yesterday was that only the high commissioners, ambassadors and heads of missions would be afforded the opportunity to meet and greet His Majesty the King.


This comes after concerns were raised that during the greeting session many people, including those from the business sector, ended up joining the queue to greet His Majesty even when the opportunity is strictly for the specified dignitaries like high commissioners.


Chief Protocol Mphiwa Dlamini also had a say at the meeting where he raised a concern that the adding of extra chairs at the gallery to accommodate more guests was risky and needed to be avoided this year.

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