Parliamentarians must brace themselves – Bagbin

Politics of Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Alban Bagbin @ Health Ministry

The Majority Leader of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has asked Members of Parliament (MPs) to brace themselves for work on some key bills already before the House.

Some of them are the Interstate Succession, Plant Breeder’s, the Right to Information and other important pieces of legislation.

“I believe these are bills that we have to focus on and finish them within this meeting,” he urged.

Welcoming the MPs to the first sitting of the first meeting after the christmas recess, Mr Bagbin also hinted that President John Dramani Mahama would be delivering the State of the Nation Address in Parliament this month (February).

“So we will focus a lot on the message of the State of the Nation, which His Excellency the President will be presenting to the House this month. We will also be looking at a possible supplementary budget that will be coming to the House,” he said.

The Majority Leader pleaded with constituents to reduce the pressure on MPs, “and allow them to focus on their parliamentary duties’’.

He asked constituents to not call MPs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. “That is the time members are called upon to focus on issues in the chamber of the House, except in emergency situations,” Mr Bagbin said.

Eight weeks of first meeting

Mr Osei Kyei -Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority Leader of Parliament, contended since Good Friday, a statutory holiday, would fall on April 3, 2015, that meant Parliament would have only eight weeks to sit in the first meeting.

He,therefore, asked MPs to make the best out of the short time available to them, during which the calendar of the District Assembly elections and the Independence Day celebrations fell.

Mr Kyei-Mensah Bonsu urged the chairpersons of all the security councils in the various districts to play their roles effectively to ensure a congenial atmosphere for the elections.

He also entreated the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to intensify public education to ensure a good turnout at the elections.

He noted that the signature issues for the meeting were the State of the Nation Address by the President and concluding of discussions with the IMF and the World Bank in February, and suggested a second look at the budget that was approved in December.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Edward Doe Adjaho, in his welcome address, debunked media reports that Parliament postponed its sitting because it was broke.

He explained that in compliance with Article 112, Clause 1 of the 1992 Constitution, and Standing Order 37 (2), “I signed a Constitutional Instrument 2015 (CI 88) on January 15, 2015, issuing a notice of commencement of the third session of the sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic, which was gazetted and published in the media.”