Muntaka Insists Executive Cannot Bully Us

Ghana's Parliament
Ghana's Parliament

A proposal by the Business Committee of Parliament for the House to adjourn sine die on Friday, 12 April 2019, was on Friday met with some objection, with calls on the Executive not to stampede the House with eleventh hour pieces of legislation before it rises.

A discussion on the Business Statement for next week, after it had been read by Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, signaled to the House the need for a firm programming that would allow the House to fulfill its international and global obligations, in addition to domestic parliamentary business.

Citing health concerns for Members of Parliament, Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, raised red flags over the practice where some pieces of legislation from the Executive are brought to the House in the last week of sitting before the House rises.

He complained that long hours of working in the last days was risk on the health of the legislators; and wondered why various governments over the years have waited and rushed proposed legislation on the House few days before rising.

Alhaji Muntaka suggested to the House not top admit any eleventh hour business, with a caution that “the Executive cannot stampede us.”

Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South Haruna Iddrisu said last minute proposed legislations does not allow the public, in whom sovereignty rests, to make inputs into the law making process.

Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, agreed that there should be a symbiotic relationship between the Executive and the Legislature, and appealed to the Executive to bring the proposed legislation, “but bring them timeously.”

The discussions indicated a need to review the date for adjournment, and possibly fix it for 3rd April 2019, in view of international assignments that the House would be engaged in.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader said the House shall begin sitting beyond the regular adjournment time of 1400 hours, and would add additional days to have enough time to complete its scheduled business.

He urged all Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Central Government to endeavour to as soon practicable, to submit to Parliament any outstanding or urgent government business which requires parliamentary action before the House adjourns sine die.

The House also took strong exception to the failure of the Ghanaian public universities to submit their annual reports to the House, in recent years.

When the House sits next week, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu and Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs, said it would ask the Minister of Aviation the steps the Ministry is taking to improve service delivery and customer satisfaction for passengers flying commercial international airlines on the on the Ghana-Europe and Ghana-America routes.

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