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04.03.2005 General News

Majority cautions Minority to play according to rules

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Accra, March 4, GNA - The Majority in Parliament has urged the Minority to adhere to the rules of Parliament, which is built on the country's Constitution, to advance the course of democracy.

Addressing the press at Parliament House on Friday Morning, Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, said: " During the current meeting of Parliament, the NDC Minority has embarked on acts which to all intents and purposes fly in the face of the Standing Orders of Parliament."

The Minister, also the Majority Leader, catalogued various postures adopted by the Minority, which he said did not augur well for the smooth running of business in the House.

Touching on the recent demonstration over fuel prices, he said the Minority Leader and the Deputy Minority were "conspicuously present at the demonstration and were among the Leadership that presented the petition to Parliament. One wonders why the two Leaders of the Minority, who are seasoned Parliamentarians and Lawyers could be part of a process, which flouts the rules of the House."

He said it was strange that the Minority Leader and his group in spite of clear provisions in the Standing Orders took part in the presentation of a petition to Parliament by a stranger contrary to the rules.

"By this conduct, does the Minority NDC group expect Parliament to consider their petition, which by the rules is not before Parliament?"

Mr Owusu-Adjapong said the recent gross disrespect shown when the Minority failed to rise while the Speaker led by the Mace was leaving the Chambers was one other sign of their new game of shifting the posts anytime it suited them.

"The sequence and frequency of post shifting by the NDC is becoming disturbing", the Majority Leader said and referred to recent walkouts by the Minority.

The first being over the passage of the Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies Bill and over the voting procedures to approve the nomination of three Ministers including Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Road Transport.

The Majority Leader told the press that: "Our purpose here today is to set the records straight and help the general public to appreciate these developments."

Before the commencement of Public Business, Mr Alban Bagbin, the Minority Leader, led the House to pay tribute to the memory of Dr Gibiril Adamu, NDC-Asawase, who died and was buried on February 26 this year.

The Member died after representing his constituency for only 50 days in Parliament. He was a medical doctor and was born on March 31, 1961. His funeral is slated for March 5.

The House also paid tribute to former President Hilla Limann, on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of his death.

Earlier, Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum, in a statement to commemorate the 48 years of Independence, urged all and sundry to take steps to protect the peace being enjoyed.

''With the continuity in constitutional multi-party democracy, we are seeing an expansion of the frontiers of freedoms enjoyed by our people. We must all work to let freedoms become real and abiding everywhere in this country."

Capt. Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey, (rtd), NPP-Berekum, in his contributions, said ethnicity was rearing its head everywhere and this did not augur well for nation building.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, NDC-Tamale South, welcomed the President John Agyekum Kufuor's gesture in freeing some prisoners including two former government officials and said this would help lower the political temperature in the country.

Mr Asamoah Ofosu, NPP-Kade, said as Ghana was now 48 years old it was important to redirect focus on to making the country economically independent for ordinary Ghanaians to lead a worthy lives.

Mr Simons Addai, NPP Member for Techiman-South, expressed concern that the Kumasi to Techiman road was not mentioned in the Budget, during the debate on the 2005 Budget.

He said work on the Techiman Market had also ground to a halt. He appealed to the Government to bring more transformers to the area, especially to assist the tomato factory, which was to be set up in Techiman as captured in the Budget.

Mr Albert Obbin, NPP-Prestea-Huni-Valley, said it was necessary to resource some institutions such as the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and CSIR to enable them to improve upon their service delivery to aid in the socio-economic development of the country.

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