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15.05.2006 Politics

Second meeting of Parliament begins Tuesday


Accra, May 15,GNA- The fourth Parliament treks quietly to the midway of its second session as it begins its second meeting on Tuesday.

The two hundred and twenty-nine members (minus Nkoranza North's Eric Amoateng who on trial in the United States for drug trafficking) would congregate to debate bills and issues, supervise the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies and perform other tasks, including the vetting and approval of new Ministers of State.

Among the Bills expected in the House this meeting is the Domestic Violence Bill, which had tickled the mind of many a Ghanaian.

Its eventual out-dooring would afford the public its true contents, which may include the marital rape concept.

The House also resumes shortly after a major Cabinet reshuffle which had seen the exit of several prominent Members of Parliament from the Presidential team.

The most prominent include Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Member for Oda, who was the Minister of Education and Sports and Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Member of Offinso North and also former Minister of NEPAD and Regional Integration.

Others are Captain (retired) Nkrabea Effa Dartey, Deputy Minister of the Interior who holds the Berekum seat, Mr Joseph Boahene Aidoo, former Western Regional Minister and Mr Issac Edumadze, the out-going Central Regional Minister.

All these men return to the House amidst rumours of non-performance and incompetence.

The Minority would have a field day with some of the 'out-of favour' MPs, especially when the person was less punctual during his ministerial days.A date with a member who had just lost his ministerial position is normally terrible.

With a practical majority in Parliament, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would be able to secure ready votes even though those dropped out-number those called into the Presidential team.

The Majority kept its front bench intact with the presence of Mr. Owusu Adjapong as the Majority Leader. None of his lieutenants was taken away.
They however, lost two Committee Chairmen to the Executive. They are Mr Osei-Kwame Prempeh, Constitutional, Parliamentary and Legal Affairs who may become Deputy Attorney General and Mr Joe Baddoe Ansah, Culture, Youth and Sports who may also become Deputy Minister of Tourism and Diasporian Affairs.
The Minority would, at this meeting have very little to disagree on as most of the bills and instruments are less controversial.
It has its problems to solve as rumours of a call for leadership change whirls in the corridors of Parliament.
The Minority boycotted the House during the last meeting after they failed to shoot down the Representation of the People's Amendment Bill.
Other smaller parties, which are the Convention People's Party and the People's National Convention (PNC), are still cohabiting with NPP, guaranteeing the ruling party the needed number to win any vote at any crucial moment.