Posted: Wednesday 7th May 2014 at 22:36 pm

Majority Leader slams Minority’s ‘disjointed’ view of the Constitution

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Majority Leader, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor is challenging the Minority in Parliament to cite which aspect of the 1992 Constitution has been breached by the Speaker in forwarding a bill to the Council of State without recourse to the house.

He stated categorically on Joy FM’s Top Story that the action of the Speaker of Parliament, which incurred the wrath of the Minority, was done within the remit of his office.

The Minority at a press conference held on Wednesday accused the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho of  taking unilateral decisions minority-accuse-house-speaker-of-taking-unilateral-decisions.php  on the Constitution Review Commission’s recommendations on entrenched provisions in the 1992 Constitution.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai, Joe Osei-Owusu, who is also Chairman of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee, said, “we in the Minority, regret to observe that the whole process of constitutional amendment is turning out to be nothing other than an executive review of the national constitution.”

But Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor rather accused the Minority of reading the Constitution in a “disjointed manner”.

He copiously quoted Article 290 (2) of the Constitution, which the Speaker followed in sending the amended document to the Council of State, arguing that the Minority failed in their application of the law.

He said the Minority might have confused the normal bill, which has to go through stages of readings with the entrenched constitutional bill.

The Majority Leader remarked that it is after the Council of State had advised Parliament on the bill after 30 days of receiving the document, that the document would be considered in parliament for the first time.

But the former First Speaker of Parliament, Freddy Blay, told Top Story it would have been better if the Speaker had brought the attention of the whole house about the correspondence between the executive and legislature.

“It is not a love letter,” he said to explain his objection to the level of secrecy the Speaker attached to the document.

Mr. Blay has therefore advised the Speaker of Parliament to bring back the document to Parliament so that the entire law-making boy would be briefed before it is sent to the Council of State for their perusal.

“It shouldn’t be made to look like an executive domesticated process… that is wrong”, he concluded.

But in his rebuttal, Dr. Kunbuor asserted:  “… it is not a constitutional requirement; let’s not confuse the express mandatory things that the constitution provides as against what our own administrative and procedural feelings might be like.”

According to him, what the Speaker of Parliament did borders on “rule of law and not rule of wishes”.

“Has the speaker done anything unconstitutional and illegal? – I say no,” he affirmed.

Nonetheless, he was sure the Speaker would have informed the entire house if Parliament was in session.

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