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General News of Thursday, 22 December 2016


We will boycott last minute agreements - Minority threatens

Members of the Minority side in Parliament have served notice they may boycott the last minute approval of certain agreements which they say government is illegally pushing through.

According to the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the sheer disregard of the house in relation to handover notes in the ongoing transition process as a guide to business in the house and the tabling of new loans are unfortunate.

“… As I speak to you now handover notes have not been submitted to Parliament. Parliament has not been presented with handover notes from the Administrator General covering the activities of the presidency, neither has Parliament been given any report relating to the projections of developments that government envisages.

“…Parliament cannot say that it is on its own and decide on which business to transact including the approval of new loans. In the absence of such accurate handover notes and reports to Parliament, one would expect that in the spirit of consensus building, the current administration would clear any undertakings especially new engagements with the presidential transition team. The President John Dramani Mahama administration has elected not to avail itself of this vehicle. In the circumstance, we the NPP minority caucus wants to register our deepest disgust at unilateral decisions being taken to have Parliament approve of loans, suppliers credit agreements and project implementation agreements. The latter of which process is unknown to the rules of procedure, that is our standing orders in this Parliament,” he said.

The Majority caucus yesterday [Wednesday] also accused the Minority of stalling the consideration of the remaining amendments left to be worked on before passage of the longstanding Right to Information (RTI) bill.

According to the majority, many MPs on the minority side, since Tuesday, have been leaving the chamber in droves when the matter of the RTI bill comes up, denying the house the needed quorum to transact business matter.

But speaking to Citi News today [Thursday], the Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul, reiterated his soon-to-be majority caucus’ commitment to passing the RTI Bill.

Meanwhile, Parliament has begun the consideration of emoluments for some Article 71 office holders.

In a closed sitting which lasted for about 40 minutes yesterday, Members of Parliament deliberated on the report of the Presidential Committee on Emoluments for Article 71 office holders. It is unclear if approval was given to the recommendations of the report at yesterday’s closed sitting.