The Director of Public Affairs of the Parliament of Ghana, Kate Addo, has stated that the Leadership are in talks to resolve the misunderstanding posed by the Speaker’s decision to suspend sitting indefinitely.
The move according to Prof Oquaye was to make it possible to recall MPs when the need arises since “we are not in normal times.”
But the decision by the the Speaker did not sit well with the Minority who argued that Prof Oquaye had no power to suspend sitting sine die instead of adjourning while threatening a suit at the Supreme Court.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu described the Speaker as a ‘walking illegality’ because there was no consultation before he suspended sitting indefinitely.
Kate Addo stated in a statement that both the Majority and Minority Leaders in Parliament are deliberating on how best to resolve the confusion after the sitting abruptly ended on Saturday, April 4, 2020.
“Notwithstanding the misunderstanding and seeming acrimonious note on which the House ended, the Leadership of the House is in communication to resolve the issues for the benefit of the country which remains paramount.”
The Public Affairs Director, however, assured Ghanaians that decision-making in the House are both ways and in the best interest of the nation.
According to her, conclusions on issues in the country are based on the two sides of the House finding common ground unless on rare occasions where it is the other way round.
“Parliament would like to assure citizens that it places a very high premium on consensus building. Indeed, most of the work of Parliament is based on the two sides of the House finding common ground on most issues. Occasions where antagonism wins the day are exceptions rather than the rule.”
Kate Addo in defense of decision by Prof Mike Oquaye indicated that it was in recognition of the fact that the country is in a general state of emergency due to the Coronavirus outbreak thus it is prudent the House acts in a manner that will bring utmost benefit to the welfare of the nation.
“This point becomes even more poignant as a result of the fact that not being in normal times, the House could be recalled at any time. It is, therefore, necessary, that the House, holds itself in readiness for any eventuality. The Standing Order 6 becomes relevant since it provides that in all cases not provided for in (Standing Orders), the Speaker shall make provisions as he deems fit.” She noted.
On the decision-making process in parliament, Kate Addo explained that Members agree to disagree and arguments in the House could sometimes be not only vociferous but also forceful.
However, “at the end of the day, ideas must be reconciled for consensus building, failing which a determination by way of voting must be made. Fortunately, this is usually not the case.”
Below is the full statement