General News of Saturday, 15 July 2017
The first readings of newly drafted bills by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government would be taken in parliament next week
They are the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017; Zongo and Inner City Development Fund Bill, 2017; Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017; Middle Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017 and the Coastal Belt Development Authority Bill, 2017.
The first readings of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill and the Zongo and Inner City Development Fund Bill would be taken on Tuesday, July 18, while the first readings of the Northern Development Authority, Middle Belt Development Authority and the Coastal Belt Development Authority Bills would be taken on Wednesday, July 19.
These were contained in the business statement for next week’s sittings read to the house by the majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, yesterday.
The Office of Special Prosecutor Bill is expected to generate a lot debate on the floor of parliament as some minority members had indicated their resentment about the creation of that office to prosecute public officers who have allegedly indulged in corrupt practices.
The majority leader had indicated to the media on Tuesday that those bills were ready and would be introduced to the house in the course of the week after the minority members had complained bitterly about lack of government business for the house.
On Tuesday, July 11, parliament sat briefly for about 40 minutes and adjourned. Three papers were laid, prompting the members of the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by the minority chief whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, to bemoan lack of government business for the house.
The minority members said that if government would not present any serious business to parliament for consideration, then it would be better for them to stay at home and receive their salaries.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu however, brushed aside the complaint of the minority members saying that usually business in the house is slow when a new government takes over power.
According to him, since the inception of the 1992 Constitution, it had always been like that so he did not understand the complaints by the minority members.
“When Prof Atta-Mills took over power in 2009 it was worse because for over six months, the president had not finished appointing his ministers and so business was very slow in the house,” he recalled, adding that under former President Mahama it was the same story.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is also expected to appear in the house next week to respond to a question by NDC MP for Juaboso, on how much was spent on the 60th independence anniversary celebration.