General News of Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Accra, Oct 24, GNA- Mr Abraham Ossei Aidoo, Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs has said political activities prior to the 2008 general elections should not push the different sides of the House into taking petty advantages over others.
He noted that much as it would be difficult to approach consensus building in such times, the members of the Legislature would continue to consult one another within the framework of the rules to arrive at "a corporate management" of the House. Mr Aidoo made the remark in Accra, in an interaction with the Parliamentary Press Corps, in Accra, to discuss activities planned for the third meeting of the third session of the fourth session of Parliament, which began Tuesday in Accra. Twelve papers and two instruments are scheduled to be laid; four bills for presentation, one bill at the consideration stage, while three bills will be at the Committee level, with 33 referrals at the Committee's during the session.
The Bills that are scheduled to presented are the Geneva Convention Bill, the Chieftaincy Bill, the Human Trafficking Amendment Bill and the Alternative Disputes Resolution Bills, while the Anti Money Laundering Bill would be at the Consideration Stage. Mr Aidooh said members of Parliament would continue to consult one another on matters, even outside the House on matters affecting the governance of the nation. He expressed concern over the recent attacks on the Lawmakers, and announced that security was to be beefed up in Parliament. Mr Aidooh said the present number of 26 policemen in the precincts of Parliament had to be increased to 150 for effective protection, barring funding.
He said funding was being sought to provide fencing for the residences of the MPs at Sakumono. He suggested that that it was about time a second look was taken at the cluster housing for Members, and added that a way should be found to better protect the legislators.
The Majority Leader said there had been threats to attack the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee since the Committee began its public hearing on the Auditor General's Report on state departments, ministries and agencies, adding that Parliament would give the Chairman and the Committee the needed protection.
He said better vehicles had been given the Legislators, to enhance the safety of their movement and advised that they should be cautious and drive safely to avoid accidents as they conduct their activities in the run up to the next year's elections.
Mr Kwabena Okerchire, Member of Parliament for Nkawkaw, in response to a question on a juju threat by the District Chief Executive of the area, said the matter was reported to the Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House. The Police took their statements and after a forensic report, the docket was forwarded to the Attorney General's Department, but added that, the DCE had challenged the forensic report. "The matter is with the Police, no one can touch it", Mr Okerchire said. The Press Corps expressed concern over the welfare issues, and said greater attention be given to them.