On the 16th of September 2016, the University of Ghana Parliament House Accra City Campus (UGPHACC) had its first sitting in the first session of the fourth parliament. This sitting was remarked by laudable reforms aimed at projecting the image and relevance of the house to the students’ body. This was very much appreciated by the newly elected Members of Parliament who were sworn in after the prayers had been said to begin the order of business of the day. Another remarkable improvement was the change in the style of order paper of the House, which truly showed the parliamentary spirit and nature of the house.
This sitting saw the leadership of the House, the Speaker, Deputy Speakers, Majority and Minority Leaders taking time to address the House.
Also, a presidential address was also given by the SRC President, H.E. Emmanuel Abekah who happened to be a former Deputy Majority Leader of the House. In his address, he encouraged the newly elected members of parliament to take advantage of this opportunity and build their capacities for the life after school and their constituencies benefit from them before their tenure in the House is exhausted.
At the commencement of Public Business, where the Majority Leader in person of Hon. Sena Kwawu moved the motion _”The President’s action of remitting the MONTIE 3 is justified”_ be accepted and discussed, the Minority Leader in the person of Hon. Eric N. Agyemang against all anticipation refused to second the motion moved before the House. The Minority leader questioned the legality of the acceptance of the motion by the Business committee of the House, saying that the Majority Leader as the Chairperson of the Business Committee, on his own selected the motion without the involvement of members of the committee, on which a minority representation in the person of the Minority Whip, Hon. Blankson Asiako, should have been made. The Deputy Minority Leader in the person of Hon. Bright Ofori came in to support that position.
It was at this point that the Minority Caucus decided to boycott that motion for the day even though the Deputy Majority Leader in the person of Hon. Amoah Jeffrey told the House that the Minority Leader was aware and was only running away from the debate amongst other reasons which do not justify the stand of the minority to boycott that motion and discussion. The Minority Leader who led this boycott and the Minority Caucus later joined the House to continue the rest of the business.
The House, proceeding with other businesses, had the Chairperson of the Privileges committee in the person of Hon. Nasiba Mohammed, move for a collective approval of the sanctions to be slapped on honorable members of the house who are found mostly absent in the House without permission and parliamentary duty assignments. The House agreed and enforced the powers of the Privileges Committee in this regard. Afterwards, a half-hour motion was placed before the house which the Minority Leader moved for an amendment. However the Deputy Majority leader explained that this was in contravention to the constitution with his claim grounded in constitutional provision. The Speaker in the person of Rt. Hon. James K. Brown however ruled an adjournment on the deliberation of that motion to the next sitting.
After much admonishments to members of the House by the Speaker and other members of parliament, the House was adjourned sine die.
In all, the sitting was unprecedented and a step to further raising the flag of the House and the Constitution higher.
Hon. Joyce Ohenewaa Kwapong
(Public Relations Officer)
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