Speaker Takes Over As President
Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho
Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, would be sworn-in today as acting president as President John Dramani Mahama leads a delegation of some African Heads of State to mediate in the political stand-off in neighbouring Burkina Faso.
Communication to that effect was read to Members of Parliament MPs yesterday as they (MPs) resumed their third meeting of the second session of the sixth parliament after a long recess.
The speaker will be acting in the absence of the vice president, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, who is also on an official visit to India.
The announcement of President Mahama's absence from the country elicited some boos from the Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs and sharp criticisms from the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who said the president's travels outside the country were becoming too much.
He maintained that it was important for the president to spend some time to help resolve the current impasse between the government and some members of the public and the civil service sector workers who are on strike over their tier-two pension funds before the economy gets completely crippled by the strike action.
“The president must know that his own backyard is boiling and must dedicate some time to resolve this serious impasse,” he charged.
The Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin, however thought the president's visit to Burkina Faso was very crucial, especially when he (president) is the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and moreover, Burkina Faso is Ghana's next-door neighbour with the implications of the political stand-off being dire for the country if the situation degenerates.
Meanwhile, in his opening remarks at the beginning of the new meeting of the MPs, the Majority Leader, who is also referred to as the Leader of the House, was blunt to remind Members that they were in parliament to represent their constituents and therefore must at all times consult their people on their needs to enable them champion those causes.
“Very soon the government will be presenting its budget for the 2014/2015 financial year and I will like all MPs to consult with their constituents before making contributions on it in parliament,” Mr. Alban Bagbin urged.
According to the Majority Leader, more time would be given for MPs to critically scrutinise the budget in order for parliament to rediscover its past glory.
He also made it known that a bill on new standing orders for parliament would be placed in the House during this session and expressed the hope that when the new bill was passed, the work of parliamentarians would be more effective.
The Speaker, Mr. Doe Adjaho, acknowledged that the third meeting of the second session would be very hectic because of the consideration of the government's financial policy and budget for the ensuing year and therefore called on MPs to be punctual and cooperate with the leadership in order to exhaust all the agenda for their current meeting.
As part of yesterday's proceedings, a question as to whether the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum was aware of the adulteration of fuel by the marketing companies was posed.
A deputy minister of Energy, John Jinapor, who answered the question posed by the MP for Ablekuma North, Joe Appiah, said his outfit was very much aware and was seriously putting in place measures to crack down on those miscreants in the society.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr