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17.06.2013 Parliament

MPs To Desert Parliament This Week

For Lack Of Agenda
By The Scandal Newspaper, Ghana
MPs To Desert Parliament This Week
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The Parliament of Ghana will from this week record one of the lowest attendances since the inception of the Fourth Republic. The Members of Parliament (MPs) have threatened to boycott the House and attend to the needs of their constituents.

When the Scandal visited Parliament House last Tuesday around mid-day, it learnt that the House rose a few minutes after 11am without any 'serious deliberations'.

Some MPs who were getting ready to leave the precincts told this reporter that they would stay away from Parliament for at least a week since 'there was no serious business' going on in the House.

'We have been attending Parliamentary sessions over the last couple of weeks but all we do here is to correct votes and proceedings and then rise. In fact, nothing is going on here (Parliament),' stated some of the aggrieved MPs.

'I think it would be more fruitful and profitable to spend time with the constituents than to waste away here in Parliament', one of them observed.

In fact Parliament on Tuesday sat for only ten minutes, possibly the shortest in its history.

The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho exasperated at the turn of events, urged members of the House to generate their own business for deliberations in the Chamber instead of waiting on the Executive (Government).

As common practice, apart from questions and statements which are generated by the Members of Parliament, all other serious deliberations emanate from the government.

From all indications MPs would be bombarded with an avalanche of government business to consider just before the go on recess in July. Should that happen, it would mean that the oversight responsibility of the Legislature over the Executive arm would be curtailed because of time constraints.

Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, MP for Manhyia South, is on record to have stated that 'never has it so happened that Parliament is sitting and there is no agenda for the last two weeks. It's baffling; it is really, really baffling. If it's a microcosmic of what is happening in the country, then we must really, really and ask our governance what they are doing to this country.'

However, some people who talked to the Scandal condemned the Legislature for waiting on the government before they can function optimally in Parliament. 'So are they telling us that they have not heard that markets are burning everywhere, what about the inability of NADMO to help flood victims?' queried one of the respondents. Meanwhile Scandal is wondering why Parliament has not tabled the 2011 Auditor General's Report more than one year after it was sent to the house. We will return to this subject next week.

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