Parliament on break

Prof. Mike Oquaye, Speaker of Parliament

Prof. Mike Oquaye, Speaker of Parliament

Parliament has taken a break for the Easter holidays, bringing to an end the first meeting of the first session of the House.

The House is expected back in the last week of next month.

Constituted on January 7, the House witnessed the maiden State-Of-The-Nation Address, presented by President Nana Addo Dankwa  Akufo-Addo and the presentation of the first budget of the NPP government.

During the 13-week sitting, several bills, including the Appropriation Bill, Energy Sector Levies (Amendment) Bill, the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017, were passed as well as the approval of budget estimates for the various Ministries, Department and Agencies.

The House also approved the nomination of 110 persons nominated by the President to serve as ministers and deputies in his government.

In his closing remarks to end the meeting last Friday night, Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, commended Members of Parliament (MPs) for their cooperation in seeing through the work of the House.

He was, however, concerned about absenteeism on the part of some MPs, and urged them to strive to be more punctual when the House resumes in May.

Prof Oquaye indicated that the Private Members Bill as well as a Code of Conduct for Members will be one of the immediate issues to be considered when the House resumes.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, expressed the readiness of his side of the House to ensure Parliament played the oversight role so that there was value for money in the deals government entered into.

He, however, condemned the actions of the Delta Forces, a ‘militant’ group affiliated to the governing NPP, for their recent adventures.

Mr Iddrisu urged the President to openly condemn the actions of the Delta Force, and guarantee the rights of all citizens from unprovoked attacks by such marauding groups.

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, said the government was committed to giving the citizenry the best, and would do what it takes to fulfill the pledge.

He condemned the attacks by the Delta Force, but urged that the matter was discussed without politicisation because such unpalatable acts span previous governments.

Addressing the issue devoid of politics, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said was the only way a true solution could be found so that they were not repeated again in the future if there was change of government.

By Julius Yao Petetsi

 

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