The Council of State has met the Speaker of Parliament as part of its engagement with the structures of Parliament to quell the seeming tension that has engulfed the House since its inauguration on January 7, 2021.
The meeting that was held at the Speaker’s Lounge, in Accra, is the third in series by the Council; having met the Minority caucus on February 23 and the Majority caucus on Monday, February 28.
Being held under the auspices of the Standing Committee of the Council, the meeting afforded members of the Council the opportunity to listen to the concerns of the actors in Parliament, which have led to the gridlock in the business of the House, and to advice accordingly, in line with its constitutional mandate.
Chairman of the Council, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, asked Majority, Minority and Speakership to work together for a more responsive legislature.
“For Parliament to be strong all these three arms need to be coordinated in such a way that there is harmony among the three various legs,” he said.
Nana Otuo Siriboe II indicated that “I have told the two caucuses that Parliament should be awesome and not awful and we must all add to the reverence that is due parliament to let it work.
“We have to make it work. We can’t do anything otherwise. We have only one Ghana. We have no choice to ensure that things come onboard for people to bury their egos and entrenched positions for the people of Ghana today and for posterity sake.”
As the eighth council and eighth Parliament since the return to constitutional rule in 1993, the chairman of the Council said it was in the interest of the Parliament and Council to find a lasting solution to the impasse in the House.
He said, “We do not want this thing to be written and then we are put down as the eighth Parliament or the eighth council of state which sat down for things to go bad.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, reassured the Council of his impartiality in the discharge of his duties.
He said “Even though I am a member of the National Democratic Congress, throughout my practice, I have not been a fanatic of party politics. I have always reached across the political divide.
“You would have heard me say that at the end of the day, I don’t want either party to be praising me. You also would have heard me say that in the performance of my duties, I would be impartial and that doesn’t mean I would be neutral.”
Mr Bagbin said the composition of the House and circumstances surrounding his election as Speaker, presented the House with the challenge which needed to be surmounted quickly.
“We’ve never had such a hung Parliament before, and you know the majority usually runs governance, so when you feel sometimes you have a majority, issue taking sometimes becomes a serious challenge and particularly the system that we are running,” he stated assuring his commitment to see the House function effectively.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI