The 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic will have their first sitting today after a chaotic inauguration that saw the snatching of ballot papers and which led to the election of Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin as Speaker.
Already, efforts to reach a conclusion on who becomes majority has failed even after the Fomena Independent Member of Parliament wrote to inform the Speaker that he will be doing business with the NPP side.
Meanwhile, reports received and gathered by Peacefmonline.com indicates that most of the NPP Members of Parliament arrived at the August House as early as 3 am to occupy the right side of the Speaker.
Alexander Afenyo-Markin MP for Effutu and Deputy Majority Leader, Frank Annor-Dompreh MP for Nsawam/Adoagyiri and Majority Chief Whip, Ursula Owusu Ekuful MP for Ablekuma West, Sheila Bartels MP Ablekuma North Constituency, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah MP for Tema West are among other members spotted at the House as early as 3am.
This is approximately seven hours before the regular sitting of the House begins.
The action by the NPP MPs follows the take over of their seats by the NDC on the eve of January 7, the inauguration of the 8th Parliament.
Fomena MP’s letter
In a letter dated January 13, 2021, Hon Andrew Asiamah Amoako said “I Andrew Asiamah Amoako, an Independent Member for Fomena constituency and now the 2nd Deputy Speaker for the same Parliament do hereby declare that I shall for the purposes of transacting business in the house associate with the NPP in the Eighth Parliament.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, I do hereby affirm that I shall cooperate and collaborate with the NPP Caucus in the Eighth Parliament,” he concluded.
One would think this letter would bring finality to the majority/minority debate. However, the leader of the NDC side, Haruna Iddrisu insists on the willingness of the Fomena MP to do business with the NPP doesn’t make them the majority.
“He is not seeking to join the political party, therefore, nobody should do easy mathematics of 137 plus one. Because all the Fomena MP said was ‘I will cooperate and collaborate’ and that is different from joining,” he pointed out at a presser.
No problem to sit on the left side if…
Even though Haruna Iddrisu, the Tamale South MP says the NDC MPs don’t have any problem sitting at the left hand of the Speaker, he claims there is neither a majority side nor a minority side because both sides have 137 seats.
“Let me assure the Ghanaian people that the NDC 137 MPs have no difficulty sitting to the left of the Speaker; so long as our numerical strength is respected…Given the current numbers, there must be strict sharing of the leadership of the Select Committees by the two sides of the House. Out of the 16 Select Committees, the NDC should chair eight (8) while the NPP would also chair eight (8). This would be a true reflection of the different shades of opinion in the current Parliament” he intimated.
However, the NPP side is confident that they are the majority side with the declaration by the Fomena MP.
Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu also speaking at a press conference is hopeful that the Speaker will announce them as the majority side and him as the Majority leader.
Meanwhile, both the NDC and NPP MPs are threatening a ‘showdown’.
Dr. Clement Apaak, Member of Parliament(MP) for Builsa constituency has sent a strong signal to the NPP caucus in Parliament, warning them to stay away from the ‘right hand of Mr. Speaker’.
Nsawam/Adoagyiri MP, Frank Annor Dompreh on the other hand says he will match the NDC boot for boot should they occupy their seat on the right hand of the Speaker.
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