Please, you don’t have the numbers, you need us –Haruna
Even as the arguments over who becomes the majority and minority lingers on, the leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) caucus, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has brought a new twist to the issue.
According to Mr Iddrisu, it does not matter which side of the house the NDC will sit. What matters is that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) caucus will need their support in order to transact meaningful business in the House.
Mr Iddrisu told the NPP caucus leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, that unlike the 7th Parliament where they had the numbers and were able to get through business in the house without the support of the NDC, the 8th Parliament won’t be easy for him, since the numbers are equal.
He, therefore, called on his fellow leader to, first of all, respect the views of the NDC caucus, cooperate, and build consensus with them.
“In the 7th Parliament, the honorable Osei-Kyei Mensah had it easy, because he had the comfort of numbers. This time he does not, and he cannot.
“What he must understand this time, however we are referred to, he will need us going forward. The Constitution requires there should be a 2/3rds majority to transact some business. You don’t have it; you will need it. So, you must respect us, no matter what. In this 8th Parliament, cooperation and consensus is very paramount to the business that we will transact.”
Mr Iddrisu was addressing the House at the First Sitting of the Eight Parliament.
His comments were in a response to a letter by the Speaker indicating that the independent candidate, Mr Andrew Amoako Asiamah, had decided to do business with the NPP caucus.
It would be recalled that Mr Amoako Asiamah, on January 13, wrote to the Office of the Speaker that he shall, for the purposes of transacting business in the house, associate with the NPP caucus in the Eighth Parliament, adding that he would corporate and collaborate with the NPP caucus.
Mr Iddrisu stated that a person deciding to do business with a particular party in Parliament does not mean he is joining the party.
“Even if that were to be the case, that does not give the NPP a two-third majority in the House, so the NPP should learn to corporate with them, since they will need their support,” Mr Iddrisu said.
Quoting portions of the 1992 Constitution to support his two-thirds majority argument, the NDC leader said that article 11(7)(c) states: “Any Order, Rule or Regulation made by a person or authority under a power conferred by this Constitution or any other law shall come into force at the expiration of twenty-one sitting days after being so laid unless Parliament, before the expiration of the twenty-one days, annuls the Order, Rule or Regulation by the votes of not less than two thirds of all the members of Parliament.
“Article 268(3) also states: “Parliament may, by resolution, supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all members of Parliament, exempt the exercise of any power from the provisions of clause (3) of this article,” while article 174 (2) states: “Parliament may, by resolution, supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of Parliament, exempt from the provisions of clause (1) of this article any particular class of transactions, contracts or undertaking.”
He indicated that based on these provisions of the Constitution, the NPP leader and his members must collaborate and corporate with the NDC to transact business in the house.