Public Elections Regulations: Speaker directs exclusion from Business Statement
The Leadership of Parliament Friday directed the exclusion of the Constitutional Instrument (CI) on Public Elections Regulations (Voters Registration) in its Business Statement for next week.
The CI, which the EC seeks to lay before the House, would empower the electoral body to use the Ghana Card as the sole identification document for the registration of voters.
Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker, presiding, gave the directive following an objection raised by Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the Minority Leader, on the inclusion of the CI in the Business Statement of the House for the week ending February 17, 2023.
Dr Forson reiterated that at the Business Committee Meeting, held on Thursday, February 9, the members never considered the inclusion of the CI in the Business Statement.
Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader, said it was expected that the EC might lay it’s CI before the House in the ensuing week.
“Mr Speaker, when you look at the Constitution, Article 11 C is very clear and the mandate of Parliament when it comes to Executive Instruments (EI), Legislative Instruments (LI) and Constitutional Instruments (CI).”
“ So, whereas Parliament has the mandate to scrutinise, Parliament cannot also obstruct a constitutional body from undertaking its work, merely because it has some disagreements.”
This did not go down well with the NDC Minority, which led to a heated debate on the floor of the House.
Dr Forson said he attended the Business Committee’s Meeting for the first time, with Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Deputy Minority Leader, and Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, the First Deputy Minority Whip, which was chaired by Mr Frank Annor-Dompreh, the Majority Chief Whip.
Per their agenda did not include the CI on Public Elections Regulations.
“…Mr Speaker, to my surprise, I have seen the introduction of the CI, which was never discussed at the Business Committee Meeting.”
“Mr Speaker, I want to caution that we on this side will oppose the Business Statement because this is not what we agreed upon.”
Mr Ibrahim, on his part , urged the Speaker not to accept the inclusion of the CI in the Business Statement for next week.
Mr Afenyo-Markin said the House would put the issue of the CI on ice for now for further consultations.
Mr Osei-Owusu in his ruling said it was clear from both the Minority and the Majority sides that the CI was not part the business arrangement for next week, hence should be excluded.