Speaker to settle Majority, Minority 'confusion' today

Minority Leader (L), Speaker of Parliament (M) and Majority Leader
The Speaker of Parliament Rt Honorable Alban Bagbin is expected to douse the tension that has arisen between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament in the House over who occupies the Majority position.

This comes after the NDC caucus dismissed assertions by the colleagues from the governing party that the NPP lawmakers are the majority side following the decision of the Fomena Independent MP to do business with them.

Haruna Iddrisu, leader of the NDC caucus said the letter written to the Speaker of Parliament by Fomena MP Mr Andrew Asiamah Amoako, did not state that he was joining NPP side in the House therefore, the governing party cannot claim to have majority seats.

The Fomena lawmaker who is also the 2nd Deputy Speaker on Wednesday January 13 officially wrote to the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon. Alban Bagbin informing him about his decision to associate himself with the NPP caucus in Parliament.

Analysts have said this will mean, the NPP is most likely to form the Majority in Parliament pending the results of the series of court actions the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has initiated against some Parliamentary seats which were won by the NPP in the December 7 2020 elections.

At the moment, both the NPP and the NDC have 137 seats each but the the Independent MP’s decision to join the governing party will bring the difference to one.

The letter to the Speaker dated 13th January 2021, said “I Andrew Asiamah, an Independent Member of Parliament for Fomena Constituency  and now the 2nd Deputy Speaker for same Parliament  do hereby declare that , I shall, for  purposes of transacting business in the House associate myself  with the NPP caucus  in the Eight Parliament .

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“For the avoidance of doubt, I do hereby affirm that I shall cooperate and collaborate with the NPP Caucus in the Eight Parliament.”

But speaking at press conference in Parliament on Thursday January 14, Haruna Iddrisu who is also MP for Tamale South said “We have heard that the Fomena MP, who is the only independent MP has written to the Speaker and I am quoting verbatim from his text that ‘I shall, for the purposes of transacting business in the House associate with the NPP.’ Get the words, he did not say ‘I am joining the NPP’.”

 “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 cautioned.

 “A week ago, the Clerk of Parliament read a letter from the Electoral Commission. The said correspondent indicated that the NDC had 137 seats and the NPP also 137 seats and one independent MP. Therefore, from the official correspondent of the EC, neither the NDC nor NPP has a majority in Parliament.

“So ladies and gentlemen of the media, nobody should be engaged in any fruitless effort to add on what he or she does not have. This is because, by official records, the Parliament of Ghana is of one of equal strength and equal numbers,” he stressed.

He however noted that his side of the House will have no qualms siting on the left side of the speaker where mostly, Minority lawmakers sit.

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“The Ghanaian people want Parliament to work for them and in their favour. In the interest of the Ghanaian people, our side has no difficulties sitting on the left.”

He further called for a fair composition of the various committees of parliament following the number of seats the party and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are occupying.

“The NDC caucus will insist that the composition of committees of this 8th parliament reflect in its very current nature because this is the first time we are having 137 – 137.

“Therefore composition of committees must reflect the character and strength of the political parties and the numbers of their elected MPs.

“The composition should reflect beyond mere numbers and cover other factors including even leadership of committees because as we have 137,137, who chairs and who leads? We are equal.

“You must appreciate that parliament is a unique distinct and separate organ of state. We are the legislative organ and the way we do our business is a matter that reflect our strength and size.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana