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28.10.2003 General News

Ministers advised to treat Parliament with respect

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Accra, Oct. 28, GNA- The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Peter Ala Adjetey on Tuesday said Parliament should be treated with some degree of respect by Ministers in answering questions in Parliament rather than allowing their deputies to perform that function.

He said even though Deputy Ministers are to assist the Ministers in their duties it should not be a routine for them to be answering questions on behalf of their ministers because some of them are not ministers of state.

Mr Ala Adjetey made the call when the Minority Leader, Mr Alban Bagbin gave the indication that the minority would not take on the Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Mr Joe Donkor to answer questions on behalf of the substantive minister.

Mr Bagbin said whereas there are three Ministers of state at the Ministry of Education, he wondered why none of them could not come to the House to answer the questions.

"Mr Speaker we are just over indulging them and this time we are not going to allow that."

Mr Ala Adjetey in his ruling said the operations of Parliament is governed by the Constitution, the Standing Orders and conventions, and in the circumstance where the minister of state is unavoidably out of the country or performing equally other important assignment, some indication must be given in writing of whom to perform the function on his behalf.

The Speaker said all the questions posed by members touched on second cycle schools and in his view the Minister of State, Primary, Secondary and Girl-Child Education should be the first person to perform such duty.

He, however, said for once he would allow the Deputy Minister to answer the questions on behalf of the sector Minister.

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