The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Andrew Amoako Asiamah, was yesterday forced to adjourn sitting to today (Thursday) after the House failed to get the required numbers to form a quorum to transact business.
“I will go ahead to adjourn the House to tomorrow 10:00am in the forenoon. Honourable members, I think this House is embarrassed. The cameras are on us. We deliberately suspended the House for one hour just to make sure we get the numbers, yet we could not make up the numbers. I have counted and counted and counted, but we still don’t have the numbers. Please, let us advise ourselves,” he said.
As at mid-day, when the House commenced sitting, only few members were in the chamber. This forced the House to suspend sitting, in an attempt to get more members to report to work, in order to transact business, but that didn’t yield any result.
The Member for Adaklu, Mr Governs Kwame Agbodza, then moved the motion for adjournment when the house resumed sitting, citing Article 102 of the 1992 constitution and Order 48 of Parliament’s Standing Orders to back his demand.
Article 102 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana states that: “A quorum of Parliament, apart from the person presiding, shall be one-third of all the members of Parliament.” Order 48 of the Standing Orders of Parliament also states same.
Further to this, Clause (2) of Order 48 indicates that “If at any time during a Sitting of the House, a Member draws attention to the fact 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 suspend the Sitting of the House for a period not exceeding one hour and if upon resumption there is still no quorum, the House shall stand adjourned till the next Sitting day without Question put.”
But before the motion for adjournment could be granted, the Deputy Majority Leader and MP for Effutu, Mr Afenyo Markin, argued that some members were having committee sittings while others may be probably transacting business on behalf of the House, outside the country, hence the limited number of people in the chamber.
He continued that some of these meetings are very crucial to the business of the House and time must be devoted to it.
Mr Afenyo Markin made reference to the Majority and Minority leaders who are currently transacting business on behalf of the House outside the country.
On businesses being crucial to the work of the House, he cited the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee who were not in the chamber because they were preparing to sit and deliberate on the Anti-LGBTQI Bill today.
But reacting to the comments, the Adaklu Legislator indicated that the framers of the constitution took into account all the activities of Parliament before putting down Article 102 of the constitution and Order 48 of Parliament’s Standing Orders, hence moved the motion for adjournment.
“I am sure the framers of the 1992 constitution took into account all activities in parliament before making the request in Article 102 and as we also put in Order 48. It is this same House that made the rule that committee sittings take place after adjournment,” he said.