Time to resolve Minority, Majority sitting in Parliament

Today the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, would attempt yet again to find amicable solution to the tussle between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over who constitutes the majority wing in Parliament.

A meeting held on Tuesday between the two parties at the behest of the Speaker ended in a stalement.

This was after both sides maintained their unbending positions.

Today’s meeting is therefore going to iron out the differences so that the majority and the minority sides can be determined to ensure the smooth take-off of the eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

As we are all already aware of, the NPP and the NDC have the same number of parliamentarians, 137 each, with an independent member who has declared his desire to caucus with the NPP, bringing their number to 138 members. 

Although there appears that NPP has a slight advantage over NDC because of the independent candidate’s decision, the opposition party is not in the mood to accept that NPP members are the majority and therefore deserve to sit to the right hand side of the Speaker.

Not only that, the party is also determined to share the composition of committees and its leadership.

The NDC side argues that with the equal number of the caucuses, the chairmanship of the committees needs to be shared equally but agrees that the critical ones like defence and interior, foreign affairs and finance must go to the governing party.

The NPP, however, is of the view that the status quo where the public accounts and the subsidiary legislative committees are chaired by the opposition must remain.

The Ghanaian Times has followed the debate and admits that the challenges facing Parliament today is unprecedented and complex and can only be addressed by the members of Parliament themselves.

However, it would not be out of place if they seek the support of some important and prominent citizens to help them resolve their differences.

We have few of such people in mind but we have the confidence that the leadership of the House has the capacity to resolve the complex issue they are confronted with at this time.

The world is watching to see how we wriggle our way out of the present predicament without further drama in the House.

We pray that the House would not descend to the level they did last week and repeat the chaotic scenes that characterised their swearing-in and the election of the Speaker.

That was shameful and must never be repeated.

We look forward to a civil deliberation and hope that the two sides will come to a common understanding at the end of the day so as to proceed with business of the House for the benefit of the citizens of the country.

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