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General News of Thursday, 18 February 2021


Consensus building key in realising benefit of hung parliament – Martin Kpebu

Martin Kpebu is a private legal practitioner play videoMartin Kpebu is a private legal practitioner

Martin Kpebu, a private legal practitioner has said that for the country to realise the full benefits of the composition of the eighth Parliament which is described as ‘hung’, members on either side of the house must be willing to work together.

According to him, consensus-building between the Majority and Minority sides of the house will prove decisive if the country is to gain some benefits from it.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on the Implications of Hung Parliament on Ghana’s Democracy, Martin Kpebu intimated that with Article 78 of the 1992 constitution making it compulsory for the president to draw half of his ministerial appointees from Parliament, it is imperative that the house at all time collaborates to protect the interest of the country.

He observed that Ghana is already witnessing the implications of a hung parliament with the President forced to cut down on the number ministers.

“Article 104 of the constitution provides that the Parliament in its business shall never take a decision unless it has at least half of all members present and that shall be by a majority decision.

The consensus-building, he maintains, must at every point be in the interest of the country and not in the political parties or any individual.

“Article 78 mandates the president to appoint a majority of the ministers from parliament. Invariably during the period that parliament sits, you have most of the ministers away from parliament attending to executive business.

“One thing that is clear is that, we were going to have a situation where a lot of the time, once its going to be a majority vote, because the NDC doesn't have ministerial appointments, they’ll most likely outnumber the NPP members.

“Government will have to find a way to build consensus with the opposition so that the work in Parliament will be easier. It will behold on us to look at building consensus instead of looking at anything”, he said.

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