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GHANA’S PARLIAMENT is struggling to form quorum to conduct public business as majority of lawmakers continue to desert the House, leading to counter accusations from both sides of the legislature.

The House could not conduct full business yesterday because some key members of committees were absent, a development which led to both sides of the House accusing each other of being responsible for the lack of quorum during the emergency meeting.

Members of Parliament were recalled from recess by Speaker of Parliament Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo under a state of emergency to ostensibly consider the controversial Constitutional Instrument (CI 78) for the creation of 45 new constituencies by the Electoral Commission.

The CI requires 21 parliamentary sitting days to mature to give legal backing for the creation of the additional constitutions.

However, MPs have continuously abandoned the House’s chamber for about a week now, raising questions as to whether it was worthwhile for them to be recalled at the expense of Ghanaian taxpayers.

The Minority side, led by its Chief Whip Fredrick Opare-Ansah, was particularly not enthused about comments allegedly made by Deputy Majority Leader Alhaji Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo on an Accra-based radio station, accusing the Minority MPs of not attending sittings during the emergency meeting.

Commenting on the poor attendance by MPs, First Deputy Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho said it was wrong for the Deputy Majority Leader to accuse the Minority of being the cause of the lack of quorum.

“If you have got a full complement of your side (Majority side), there will not be an issue of quorum. Both sides of the House ought to be blamed,” Adjaho, who is also the MP for Avenor/Ave, stated.

He entreated the Business Committee of the House to identify critical business for the House to transact during the rest of days left for the emergency meeting.

Adjaho was responding to concerns by some MPs after Deputy Majority Leader Pelpuo moved the motion for adjournment a few minutes after the House began sitting yesterday.

The House had to adjourn because all the items listed for discussion for the day were either not ready or the key actors were not present to lay the papers or move motions.

Obviously not happy with the adjournment, NPP MP for Manhyia Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh said Ghanaians were watching what Parliament was doing and that it was not proper for them to be given an impression that “we are only here to count the days for the C.I. 78 to come into effect”.

Source: Awudu Mahama

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