We will do government business but not at the peril of our survival as MPs
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has made it clear to leadership of the house that Members of Parliament will transact government but it won’t be at the peril of their survival as MPs for the eighth parliament.
According to Mr Iddrisu, they can only return to the house and work for the government if they are able to keep their seats in their various constituencies.
“The Dagombas say ‘you must have your head to chew corn’. Members of Parliament must survive to be here. This is an election year, if I don’t have my head to chew corn, I can’t chew corn. If we don’t keep our constituencies safe, we will not be here thereafter.
“We will support him to do government business but we will not support him at the peril of the survival of us MPs. We have to hold onto our constituencies and ensure that we are part of the 8th parliament of Ghana.”
He made the comments when leadership of the house welcomed members back to the ‘Third Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament’ on Tuesday.
The Speaker, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye, in his remarks said that due to the upcoming elections, the third meeting promises to be very hectic, hence members should approach it with all seriousness and promptness. He said members cannot afford to abandon the work of the House.
On his part, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu indicated that the House has just weeks to transact business. He noted that there were ten Bills to be considered, hence members must avail themselves to work for their country.
He said, “We can’t change much, but I will only encourage leadership and colleagues that the limited time we have, we should use it judiciously. Let’s all make a commitment to come on time and transact our business as is expected of us.”
But Mr Iddrisu said, whilst most MPs are working in the House to ensure government business is attended to, their opponents are in the constituencies campaigning against them.
He, therefore, advised the majority leadership to prioritise the business to be transacted in order for them to tackle the most important ones.
“This morning, candidates in Manhyia, Suame and Tamale South are working against us. So Mr Speaker, prioritising is very important. Let’s prioritise. Don’t come and give us too many Bills. Let’s tackle those ones that are urgent and in the national interest.”
The Minority Leader also cautioned the house not to compromise quality work for the sake of wanting to finish business within five weeks.
He said some Bills need to be given much time and urged the house to take note and act responsibly.
“You know what it means to consider a Bill. The speed with which we go sometimes does not allow us to do a more detailed job.”
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Service Board has approved a proposal for the establishment of a virtual parliament. This is to help in containing the spread of the Corona virus pandemic.
A committee, of which the 1st Deputy Speaker and the Majority Leader are members of, has been charged to assist in the re-alignment of Parliament’s standing orders towards the establishment of the virtual parliament.