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10.06.2005 Politics

A question of quorum nearly marred legislative day


Accra, June 10,GNA - Emotions got the better part of Members of Parliament on Friday morning when the possibility of an early adjournment starred in their faces due to low attendance. The Majority had suspected an act of sabotage while the Minority held the view that if they meant business, they would come to the House in their numbers.

The day was slated for the consideration stage of the National Petroleum Authority Bill and incidentally it was the day of the burial of Mr. Victor Selormey, a Former Deputy Minister of Finance, during the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration. Mr Lee Ocran, NDC Jomoro, had told Mr Ebenezar Sekyi-Hughes, Speaker, that the House lacked the number to do business and the Speaker asked him to wait for the stipulated 10 minutes before he could take action.

Some minutes later, he reiterated his point, which attracted the wrath of the Majority. Mr Owusu Agyepong, the Majority Leader, said he suspected that the Minority were about to renege on their promise that they would help push the Bill through.

Mr Doe Adjaho, Deputy Minority Leader, responded: "If there is no quorum, there is no quorum. The rule is clear." He said the Majority was trying to intimidate the Minority, adding that, if the Majority saw the Bill as that important, they would have filled their seats for the business of the day.

The Leadership later agreed to accommodate each other but one person whose rage did not subside was the mover of the question on quorum -Mr Ocran. A funeral of a compatriot of the Minority and a Majority, whose whip laid cold, nearly postponed the conclusion of a bill that was to free Government from blame and anxiety in the pricing and management of prices of petroleum products.