Covid-19: Minority want Parliament to Sit for Urgent Matters only

Minority Leader in Ghana’s Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu wants the sittings of the House to be limited only to urgent matters amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, these are not normal times for the House to be sitting for just the sake of it because Members of Parliament are equally vulnerable to the disease which has taken the world by storm and causing havoc to economies and societies of even more developed democracies in the world.

The Minority Leader made the point after in his contribution to the discussion on the Business Statement of the House for the first week of sittings of Parliament. The House returned to normal business from a two week recess.

“The Leader of Government business will have to guide us on the nature of Business in this meeting. It cannot be every business. For instance, Mr. Speaker whiles I am in the mask I can’t do consideration for more than an hour or two so the nature of business, we must be very selective of it. These are not normal times,” he said.

The Minority Leader has served notice that they are ready to do any urgent business related to finance and budget issues connected to COVID-19, otherwise they will have a difficulty.

“We must engage in extraordinary times with extraordinary matters. If there are matters of finance, matters of budget containing COVID issues we can do but any other business, Mr. Speaker I have a difficulty. We should define the nature so that when we come in from 10 to 12, with speed we dispatch the business and move on, but any other business as if it is convenient being in the mask…

“Mr. Speaker, it is difficult for Members and as we use it we ought to work with limited time and limited business. In other countries, Mr. Speaker, we would have asked for physical isolation but we are mindful of Article 102 of the constitution. So he must guide us well about the nature and character of the business he wants to bring. He must convince us of its urgency and exigency,” he indicated.

The Second Meeting of the Fourth Session of Ghana’s Parliament begun on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 despite some level of public apprehension about the high level of positive cases in the last few weeks after the first case of the disease was detected in the country.

The Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, in his response to the concerns by the Minority Leader indicated that his office is conferring with the various Ministers to determine their area of priority so that they can finalize the agenda for this meeting.

“Mr. Speaker, we are still in the process of making a determination to the very urgent ones…Mr. Speaker that is the reason why yesterday the Leadership met all the Ministers for us to know the priority areas and it is because of that we were not able to circulate the agenda as of yet,” he explained.

Source: Clement Akoloh || parliamentnews360.com

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