Reconvening of Parliament May 24: Afenyo-Markin expects cordial relationship between Majority, Minority

Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, expects a cordial relationship between both sides of Parliament as the House reconvenes on Tuesday May 24 to commence the Second Meeting of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament.

“I look forward to us building good [working] relationships. One thing the Ghanaian politician has failed to do is to have courage to reach out to colleagues across the aisle,” Mr Afenyo-Markin, Member for Effutu, told the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday.

Democracy can be very emotional and can cause a lot of rancour but it is relationships that saves democracy. In countries that have practiced democracy for long, one thing that will not be clear to you publicly as one that has sustained their democracy is the relationship between people from the political divide,” he added.

The Eighth Parliament since its inauguration on January 7, 2021, has seen some ugly scenes including physical exchanges and disruption of proceedings largely occasioned by the controversial Electronic Transfer Bill which has since been passed.

Those ugly spectacles, the Deputy Majority Leade,r said must be put behind for the House to forge ahead in unity for the betterment of the country.

“My expectation is that the rancour and the physical machorism that we saw in December would never repeat itself.

“I’m glad to say our colleagues in the Minority have demonstrated political maturity by expressing their descent in respect of government policy in a much more acceptable way by using the court system.

“I expect more NDC friends same way I expect more NPP friends to be walking to offices of their colleagues, have national discussions, but disagree on party issues. In so doing, you are not compromising your political position but rather fortifying the relationship that would help the country to grow.

“The way forward is for us politicians to let Ghanaians know that we love our country and we are patriotic and believe in the Ghana project and that is why we are in Parliament and not there to fight and undermine each other.”

According to Alexander Afenyo-Markin, as people who are all working to better the lot of the Ghanaian people, it should not be difficult to commend a political opponent if the person or government is delivering on its mandate to the people.

“We should be bold to say good things about ourselves when we are doing well. If these compliments come, they don’t come to ambush our expected political fortunes but manifests sincerity and portrays us as people who mean well.”

On the lack of quorum and absenteeism which hampered the business of the House in the last meeting, the Effutu lawmaker said in as much as members would be required in the plenary for parliamentary business to proceed, the business of the House goes beyond the plenary.

This notwithstanding, he said leadership would ensure that a fine balance was reached to ensure that all aspects of legislative work – plenary, committee, constituency, delagatory – was carried out efficiently.

“We owe it a duty, since this enterprise is driven by public opinion, to have a strategy of managing the time in such a way that the plenary will not be empty because there is an  equally important parliamentary meeting  going on outside of the plenary,” he said.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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