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General News of Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

FLASHBACK: Outgoing Minister suggests aeroplane for Parliament

In January 2009, an outgoing Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Abraham Ossei Aidooh, made calls for Parliament to consider procuring an aeroplane for its travels.

According to him, the suggested aeroplane was to aid with the travels of Members of Parliament, the Speaker as well as staff of Parliament.

He defended his calls by stating that the acquisition of an aeroplane was going to cut down on the cost of travels by Ghana's legislators.

Read the full story originally published on Janruary 7, 2009 on GhanaWeb

Mr Abraham Ossei Aidooh, outgoing Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, on Tuesday suggested that Members of the incoming Parliament acquired funds for Parliament to purchase its own aeroplane to facilitate the travels of the Speaker, Members and staff. He said the acquisition of the aeroplane was important because a lot of money was spent on travels.

In a closing remark before the dissolution of the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic, Mr Aidooh, who is also the Leader of the House, said Ghana as a nation had proved that it was serious about what it did, and proposed a number of reforms to improve the performance of parliamentary work, and governance.

Some challenging situations which the outgoing Parliament faced were the inadequate office space for Members, the general security of Members, especially in their homes; occasional poor attendance of Members, conditions of service, the lack of appropriate logistics for Committee activities and the relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.

Improvements are however being to address office accommodation for members through a commissioning of the first phase of Parliamentary Room at Ridge and plans to refurbishing the "Job 600" building. Furthermore, Government has agreed to request of the Speaker of Parliament that the Tower Block, which was the premise that Parliament occupied, and all lands attached to the Tower Block and inherited with it had to be legally transferred to Parliament.

According to Mr Aidooh, the House Committee had also made recommendations on how to improve upon the security of Members and expressed the hope that the recommendation would be taken on board by the new Parliament.

He urged the incoming Parliament to begin to generate a vigorous debate on constitutional reforms, beginning with an attack on the limitation placed on Parliament by Article 108 of the currently 1992 Constitution.

Other reform should be on the number of Ministers the President could appoint, a ceiling on the number of Supreme Court Judges, the desirability of the fusion of the powers between the Executive and the Legislature, and whether or not the Attorney General must combine with the Minister of Justice, and unclear position of the Constitution on whether the Chief Justice could act as President in the absence of the three topmost political position holders in the land: the President, the Vice President and the Speaker; and election by adult suffrage of District Chief Executives.

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