Majority MPs ‘boycott’ parliamentary biz

Parliamentary business for Wednesday, July 19, 2023 ended abruptly due to lack of quorum. The Legislative House could not get one-third of the entire 275 Members of Parliament (MPs), in accordance with Article 102, to enable them do business for the day.

At the time Second Deputy Speaker, Andrews Asiamah, was adjourning the House to Thursday, July 20, 2023 the MPs who had signed the attendance list were 91, which is one member short of the figure that would have formed a quorum.

Present in the Chamber were about 35 MPs from both sides of the political divide, but the rest were at their various committee meetings, including the Public Accounts.

The Chronicle observed that, though the minority side have for some time now being boycotting parliament in solidarity with their colleague, James Gyakye Quayson, who is on trial for forgery and perjury, the majority themselves did not simply have the numbers.

The majority MPs, who lead the government business in the House, needed at least 92 out of its 137 members to form a quorum to do business, but they could not get the required number.

It is trite knowledge that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have 137 members each, but the former has a working majority due to the addition of the independent member, Andrews Asiamah.

Article 102 of the 1992 constitution states that: “A quorum of Parliament, apart from the person presiding, shall be one-third of all the members of Parliament.”


A few minutes into the proceedings, which began with prayers and then the correction of votes and proceedings for the previous day, the NDC MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Defeamakpor raised the issue of quorum.

Regardless of interventions from the Speaker and counter-claims by the Majority side, he did not budge and insisted on being heard on the quorum issue, until the Speaker was compelled to end proceedings, as it was evident the House did not have the numbers.

“Mr. Speaker, you cannot adopt [the votes and proceedings] first. We don’t have the numbers to do that. We don’t. Mr. Speaker, upon my last reading about two minutes ago, we had only 35 members and Mr. Speaker, let me anchor the gravamen of my submission to the Supreme Court, in the case of Justice Abdulai versus the Attorney General on quorum…

“Mr. Speaker, we may have to bring this matter to your attention this morning. The House is totally not capable of conducting any business this morning. We have to adjourn and come back here tomorrow to handle matters of state. I so submit, Mr. Speaker.”

Prior to raising the issue on quorum, the Minority Chief Whip, Governs Kwame Agbodza, had also cited from the vote and proceedings of Tuesday that the House had 75 members, which “fell short of the number” needed to conduct business.

The minority maintained that their boycott of proceedings could not be the reason the House was not capable of forming a quorum, as the majority members themselves do not attend upon the House.

The MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubrak, argued that even without the minority, the majority should not be found wanting. He charged the leadership of the majority to mobilise their numbers to do government’s business, “so that you can call our [minority] bluff.”


The MP for Bekwai, Joseph Osei Owusu, submitted that the issue of quorum was not new to the House, so as to let a court judgment sound like a refresh directive in the House.

He argued on Order 48(2) and urged the Speaker to follow the procedure of the House, which included allowing a ten-minute window for the bell to be tolled to call members into the Chamber.

Section (2) of the said Order says: “If at the time of sitting a Member takes notice or objection that there are present in the House, besides the person presiding, less than one-third of the number of all the Members of Parliament, and after an interval of ten minutes a quorum is not present, the person presiding shall adjourn the House without question put, until the next sitting day.”

The Speaker directed for the bell to be tolled, but after waiting for well over ten minutes, there was still no quorum.


In a move to convince the House to yield to continuing with business, the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, referred to a previous ruling by the Right Hon. Speaker, Alban Bagbin, that members present in Parliament included those within the precinct of Parliament and not only those in the Chamber.

The Nsawam/Adoagyiri MP then told the House that other colleagues were present but are at their committee meetings.

The Second Deputy Speaker insisted he gives the specific number of the members present within the precinct of Parliament, which the former mentioned as 91.


“91” is still not even one-third. Honorable Members, I will go ahead and adjourn the House. But I think we have to take the work of the House very seriously,” he said, referring to media publications about lack of numbers to do business.

“So, Honorable Members, I think today will be the last day that we will raise this issue of quorum. So, Whips, I am urging you to do more. On that note, I am bringing proceedings to a close and adjourn the House to tomorrow at ten o’clock in the forenoon,” he said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here