Parliament and the Executive Matters

It must be noted that when a side agrees or disagrees on a matter before the House, it is neither a victory nor a defeat to any side.

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The second session of the eighth Parliament of the fourth Republic came to a close in the early morning of Thursday, December 22, 2022.

Realistically, this 8th Parliament with an almost equal number of seats is putting the Executive under serious scrutiny, which to many democratic watchers is healthy, fair, and good for the growth of the country’s democratic status or credentials.

The nation has chosen the democratic path and therefore, it is very appropriate for all public officials and institutions to act democratically and within the remits of the law and the Constitution of the Republic.

It must be noted that when a side agrees or disagrees on a matter before the House, it is neither a victory nor a defeat to any side.

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It is known in a Parliamentary parlance as the decision of the House or Parliament not of the majority or minority aisle.

It is therefore not right on the part of any person to declare a side victorious or otherwise when the decision was carried out by the 275 members or the Constitutional mandatory number needed to make a decision.

As usual, the House closed the following day instead of the advertised time because the Executive did not present its business at the right time for the House to consider.

It has become the norm of the House and the Executive to load the House with assignments at the tail end of the sitting or when the House is expected to go on a break or is expected to rise. This time too, Parliament was invited to consider more than 40 items on the Order Paper of Wednesday, December 21, 2022 (A document or paper that contains the agenda or agendum or business the House intends to conduct in a day).

During the business of the House that day, some items that the Executive piloted to the House for consideration were shot down by the House, not by the Minority.

The Minority can reject any business or motion that the Executive may bring to the House for consideration but the final decision is taken by the House as a body.

I was flabbergasted when I read a propaganda piece authored by a sitting member of the House talking about victories in the decisions of the House on their side. Sadly, some members are still exhibiting their partisan nature instead of the country.

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The House in its wisdom refused to approve some requests of the government or the Executive, I believe that the essence was to let the Executive carry out proper investigation or research on the matters or issues before bringing them in future for the House’s consideration.

The Ghanaian people or electorate should be commended democratically for giving us this Parliament. An almost hung Parliament. A Parliament where the majority cannot easily have its way.

This sitting was not acrimonious as we saw in the previous one. The Executive needs to consider consultation as an essential tool in achieving its objectives and in carrying out its businesses in the House.

With the shape and the form of this current Parliament, it will be suicidal on the part of the Executive to be hostile or unfriendly towards the House.

The culture of consultation, cooperation, engagement, and non-partisanship should be enhanced and strengthened for the benefit of the people. This must come from the Executive.

Our Democracy is still a nascent one, but there is hope that we will get there. Once again, the House should be applauded for holding the Executive accountable and also for helping the Executive to pass the Appropriation Bill without which the Government cannot spend or pay workers and undertake some important tasks for the development of the country.

My only worry is the inability of the House to have enough time to debate the allocations of the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

As it has been stated, Parliament is the citadel of Democracy where the entire population is represented.

The citizens expect nothing but representation, deliberations, legislation, and oversight responsibilities to move the nation forward and to serve the people with humane laws, policies and programs.

Let me also commend the Speaker of the House, the Rt. Hon. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin and his two Deputies, the leadership, the staff of the Parliamentary service for their roles in ensuring a successful incident-free sitting.

Finally, Parliament as an integral arm of the state should continue to relate with the Executive and the Judiciary to improve the lives of the people.

By Ahmed Osumanu Halid
Nima – 441

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