The Business Committee of Parliament has asked political parties to consider Parliament in their programme of activities in order not to disrupt the smooth running of the House, as parliamentary primaries of the parties approach.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are expected to elect their parliamentary candidates later this year, ahead of the December 2020 general elections.
Out of the 275 Members of Parliament (MPs), 169 are from the NPP while NDC has 106 seats, making it a two-party House, for the first time since the country returned to democratic rule in 1993.
The Chairman of the Business Committee and Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, presenting the Business Statement to the House in Accra, yesterday, said in as much as the parties must prepare for the polls, Parliamentary business must not be interrupted by the activities of the political parties.
“The Business Committee implores parties expected to hold their primaries at the early part of the second half of this year when the House is in session to strategise so that members take turns to ensure the smooth conduct of business in the House whilst at the same time not imperilling the chances of Members in retaining their seats,” the Suame MP requested of the parties.
This meeting, the second of the third session of the seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic, Mr Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said would be demanding and asked that members prepared for it accordingly.
“The second meeting is expected to be demanding of members since a number of bills and other important businesses including the Mid-Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year will be considered.
“All members are entreated to brace up for the task ahead,” he read out.
The Minority, meanwhile, wants the Electoral Commission to come to the House to answer questions on the limited voter registration exercise scheduled for June.
The Minority MPs have maintained that the planned exercise expected to take place at the district offices of the EC and yet-to-be settled on electoral areas will disenfranchise eligible voters.
According to them, considering the accessibility of the district capitals to some voters, especially those in remote areas, limiting the exercise to the district offices instead of doing so on electoral area basis as the case has been in the past would make it almost impossible for some people to get their names unto the voters’ roll.
The Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, who raised the issue on the floor, said if the Commission is invited to brief the House on the exercise, the ‘grey areas’ of doubt could be erased.
Though agreeing in principle that the Commission comes to the House to brief it, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said there would be no need since people were already in court with the matter.
The House is also expected to receive the remains of its former leader and former chairman of the NDC, Dr Kwabena Adjei, on Friday before he is interred at his hometown, Biakoye in the Oti Region.