General News of Sunday, 6 August 2017
The Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) wants the leadership of Parliament to quickly resolve the seeming rift between the Speaker and Minority in Parliament.
According to ACEPA, if this is not done immediately the impact on governance will be severe.
This follows the Minority’s disappointment over what they describe as unfair treatment meted out to them by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye.
The Minority says the Speaker has consistently attempted to stifle them in the House and has been biased against them.
Speaking to Citi News, the Executive Director of ACEPA, Dr Rasheed Dramani said Ghanaians will bear the brunt of the division in Parliament if not resolved quickly.
“Indeed if this is not resolved quickly, the situation is going to get worse maybe when Parliament reconvenes next time because one of the things every Speaker of Parliament has to try and do right from the beginning is to try and inspire the confidence particularly of the Minority and the entire house but most importantly the Minority. Now that Parliament is on recess, we have to do some sober reflections and critically examine where I think they both fell short. We are not going to have very serious representation in Parliament. We are not going to have effective oversight because oversight is usually led by the Majority and so if you have the Majority not cooperating in the deliberations in Parliament, it means we do not have the people asking the right questions on behalf of all of us. In Parliament, on our democracy, this is going to be yet another dent. Already a lot of Ghanaians do not have confidence in this Parliament.”
Mr. Oquaye has come under a series of attacks from the Minority side who have accused him of sidelining them during discussions on national issues in the House.
The Minority’s angst over this development has forced them to on some occasions either walk out during ongoing deliberations or oppose business in the House.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu had indicated that the Minority would insist on having its say in spite of what he described as recent attempts to stifle their views.
“In the last few days, it is as if there have been major disagreement and conflicts. The Majority should have its say and the Minority should its say and we are well aware that we are a party in the Minority, possibly working into the future with the Majority but the people of Ghana expect that the Minority will keep an ear and eye on public matters and we will do so…”
“We will support the Speaker of this house but our rights of say must be safeguarded by you as Chair of this house and Mr. Speaker, it will be wrong for anybody to use the happenings of the day in Parliament to measure and rule unfairness. All I ask for is to safeguard that path, if you cannot add to it do not reduce it. There will be moments that even as Minority Leader, there will be no supplementary questions,” Haruna Iddrisu said.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, in assigning reasons to these happenings, accused former Speaker of Parliament. Doe Adjaho of manipulating Minority members to oppose business in the House.
“The man [Doe Adjaho] is behind the scenes, he still wants to control Parliament. Yesterday, he even called them and was telling them that, they should not agree for us in committee to allow you the press to be present. The man thinks he is still in control.”