Ghana Parliament reconvenes for first time in 2015
After its month-long Christmas break, Parliament resumed on Tuesday, with hints of a very vigorous legislative session as the country undergoes critical economic, political and social reforms.
The House’s First Meeting of the Third Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic is expected to be dominated by feisty and discordant partisan debates as the main agenda of the meeting would centre on the “State of the Nation Address” to be delivered by President John Dramani Mahama next week.
The other matter also anticipated to raise serious deliberations on the floor of Parliament is the possible revision of the 2015 budget by government. Other issues expected to receive attention are the IMF deliberations and the country’s current power crisis.
The House, which will sit for about eight weeks, will also consider several bills including, the Property Rights Bill, the Intestate Succession Bill, the Plant Breeders Bill and the Right to Information Bill among others.
Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho, in welcoming the law makers back to the House, urged them to lend themselves to the work of the House as the agenda for the meeting was packed because of outstanding businesses from the previous session.
Mr Adjaho also admonished the media to verify facts before publication, debunking media reports that Parliament had postponed its resumption from the planned January 27, 2015 to February 3, 2015 because the institution was cash strapped.
Speaker Adjaho said that the account was inaccurate, explaining that since the last meeting of Parliament was adjourned sine dine, the House could be reconvened at any other date apart from that set by the business committee.
Mr Adjaho urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to note the jam-packed time table of the House and submit on time their legislative and other proposals that require consideration and approval by Parliament.
Mr Alban Bagbin, the Majority Leader said despite the short duration of the meeting, he anticipated that a lot of work would be undertaken, and asked his colleagues to brace themselves for the task ahead.
He also stressed the need for a revision of the Standing Orders of the House to reflect the outlook of legislature, and advised the public to refrain from engaging their parliamentarians when the House was in session.
The Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu was hopeful members had sufficiently prepared themselves for the arduous task ahead and asked that important documents were given to lawmakers on time to enable them interrogate issues critically.
He called on Ghanaian electorate to patronize the district assembly elections and urged stakeholders to strive to maintain the integrity of the process.