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Politics of Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Source: GNA

Parliament commences business, adjourns early to form committees

The Sixth Parliament of Ghana, on its first working day adjourned early on Tuesday to enable the leadership to deliberate on imperatives needed for the effective discharge of the functions of the House.

Thus, Majority Leader Benjamin Kumbour moved a motion for adjournment of the Third sitting of the First meeting of Parliament to enable leaders of the Legislature to meet to form the Committee of Selection.

The Committee of Selection is expected to come up with the formula for the composition of membership of committees such as the Standing and Select Committees, Parliamentary delegations and other legislative groups and associations, including ECOWAS and the Pan-African Parliament.

The Constitution demands that Standing Committees be appointed at the first meeting of parliament after the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speakers.

The Standing Committees, including the Appointments Committee, is expected to plunge into serious business when Parliament starts sitting to vet ministers to be appointed by the President.

Other Standing Committees include the Privileges, Standing Orders, Public Accounts and the Business Committees.

The Select Committees including Finance, Science and Technology, Environment, Defence and Interior, Education, Communications, Constitution, Health, Legal and Parliamentary among others, would be charged with investigating and inquiring into the activities and administration of government ministries, departments and agencies, as well as proposals for legislation.

It is mandatory that that the composition of parliamentary committees reflect all the parties in the House and it is also obligatory for all members to be affiliated to at least one of the Standing Committees.

The Standing Committees have the powers, rights and privileges of the High Court.

The House reconvenes tomorrow, Wednesday January 9, to continue to deliberate on the report of the Committee of Selection.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Minority in Parliament who were absent from the second sitting of the First meeting of Parliament at the Independence Square where President John Mahama was sworn into office as the fourth President of the Fourth Republic, availed themselves to the work of the House.

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