Debates of 27 Jan 2009

PRAYERS 10:15 a.m.


Madam Speaker 10:15 a.m.
Hon. Members, we have communications from H.E. the President. The first one is the repre- sentation on the Council of State.
THE CASTLE-OSU 10:15 a.m.



THE CASTLE-OSU 10:15 a.m.




OF GHANA 10:15 a.m.


THE CASTLE-OSU 10:25 a.m.




OF GHANA 10:25 a.m.



Madam Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Hon. Members,
correction of Votes and Proceedings for 13th January, 2009 - Pages 1 … 6 - Any corrections?
Mr. James Klutse Avedzi 10:25 a.m.
Speaker, I stand on the issue of page 6, item number 4 (1), in relation to the Hon Kennedy Ohene Agyapong who has been reported here as being absent.
Madam Speaker, he is a stranger in this House. In accordance with Order 14 of the Standing Orders of the House, every Hon Member must take an oath, that is the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of a Member of Parliament.

Minority Leader (Mr. Osei Kyei-

Mensah-Bonsu): Madam Speaker, I think my Hon Colleague who just spoke is right. On Wednesday, 7th January, 2009, I think we were all so euphoric and that group includes even the Table Office. On that day we thought that at the time of meeting there were 228 hon. Members here -- [Interruption] -- If you heard me right, I said we thought there were 228 members here, and so accordingly - I think the Table Office even made a mistake of even capturing him as having been present and duly sworn-in. It turns out that he was not in the Chamber.

And so when I heard he had returned, I wanted to have some communication with him but I could not get him. If I had, the attention of the Hon Speaker would have been drawn to it and accordingly, he would have been sworn in this morning. If we cannot do that, then perhaps, we can take it tomorrow. In that case, of course, it will mean that we have to correct the Votes and Proceedings accordingly for Wednesday, 7th January 2009.

Madam Speaker, I do not think that

Madam Speaker, the Hon Colleague is here and he is ready to be sworn-in even right now. I think this matter is very important to us. The Hon Colleague is concerned that a Member has not been sworn-in and for that reason he may not belong - [Interruption] - Swearing-in implies reciting the Oath prescribed appropriately - [Laughter] -- And so, Madam Speaker, again, we will come back to that.

With respect to persons holding office in this country who have not been appropriately sworn-in, when the time arrives the matter will be addressed appropriately.
Madam Speaker 10:25 a.m.
Hon. Members, I
think we will do that tomorrow.
Majority Leader (Mr. A. S. K.
Bagbin): Madam Speaker, I think it is appropriate for Hon Kennedy Ohene Agyapong to withdraw from the House. That is appropriate until he is prepared to be sworn-in - [Interruption] -- Yes, until he is prepared. I do not mean he prepares. Because he will need to come to the House to be sworn-in, and we have not pro-grammed that swearing-in today as your goodself has indicated and since we are programming it for tomorrow, I think it is proper for him to withdraw from the Chamber today.
I will also want to correct a wrong impression. When Hon Members gather here and they are Chaired by the Clerk to Parliament, that is before they take the Oath, they have not taken their seats. You simply come in, and sit anywhere but not taking your seat legally. [Interruption] -- Madam Speaker, we are speaking law, we are not howling in the House.
No amount of shouting can take away the constitutional provisions or the Standing Orders of the House - [Hear! Hear!] So I think it is proper for him to withdraw. It is something that we all ignored - In fact, our attention was not drawn to it. I think it is right that the records be corrected to reflect that of the 7th of January, 2009, and my good Friend would do us all well by withdrawing from the Chamber.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:35 a.m.
Speaker, as I said, I used the phrase “assumption” or “taking of seat” nominally because when Members-elect come, they assume seats but I am not belabouring the point.

Madam Speaker, the point is, I think the hon. Member comes into the Chamber, he is prepared to be sworn-in, if Madam Speaker is not ready to swear him in, it may have to come from the Chair, the Speakership, that you are not ready so that the Member may have to retreat to be sworn-in tomorrow. But I will say that until you make that declaration, the Member-elect will have to be in the Chamber. Madam Speaker, that is for the records.
Mr. John T. Akologu 10:35 a.m.
Madam Speaker, Order 14 of our Standing Orders is clear on this matter and for the purpose of this discussion, permit me to quote Order 14 (1). It reads as follows:
“Every Member shall, before taking his seat formally in Parliament . . .”,
that is when he then becomes a Member of Parliament,
“. . . take and subscribe before the
Mr. John T. Akologu 10:35 a.m.

Speaker, in the House and in the presence of the other Members of Parliament, the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of a Member of Parliament as set out in Appendix C (1) and (3) to these Standing Orders”.

What the Hon Minority Leader wants us to understand is that once the Member is a Member-elect and he comes and sits here, then he is properly seated and therefore he is a Member of Parliament. It is not the case. When we say that a Member has taken his seat, then he has undergone or he has gone through this process of swearing before the House. It is not just coming and taking a seat here that makes him a Member.

We are talking about formal assumption of office as a Member of Parliament and in this House, we know that anybody who has not taken that Oath of Office and Oath of Allegiance is a stranger in the House. Order 7 which deals with Interpretation describes a stranger as any person other than the President, Vice-President, Mr. Speaker, Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are not Members of the House, a Member or an officer of the House.

So once he has not formally taken the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office and recognized as a Member of Parliament, he is a stranger when the business of this House is being taken and that is why we are saying that it is proper -- and I think the Hon Member has done the right thing -- that he withdraws from the Chamber until arrangements are made for him to take the Oath of Office and the Oath of Allegiance.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:35 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I do not think that it would be worth prolonging this matter. But what I
said is clear enough. We are not talking about him taking his seat formally. I think that is the operative word that you failed to understand. Madam Speaker, I am saying that he could be here and I am saying that instructing him to leave the Chamber must come from you. Besides, Madam Speaker, I think Hon Members must be very clear about the meaning of a stranger.

Madam Speaker, so we are not litigating this. The point I am making is that the pronouncement that the Hon Colleague should leave the Chamber should come from you. That is all that I was asking for. That you are saying that because you are not ready to administer the Oath, the Member then should accordingly leave the Chamber.

That is all what I said.
Madam Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Let us have a final word from you.
Mr. Bagbin 10:35 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think it is important for us not to be drawn into a wild goose chase.
Madam Speaker, when the Chief Justices perform functions on the floor
Mr. Bagbin 10:35 a.m.

of the House, they do not take a seat in Parliament as Members of Parliament. That is incorrect. We have dignitaries; so many people come here to do things - even the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) and other foreign dignitaries, they all come here to perform duties. That is not taking seats in Parliament. We are talking about taking seats in Parliament, not even formally.

If you look at the Constitution, article 101, it is because of the fact that we come and constitute ourselves into a group to transact the first business of electing the Speaker, that the Standing Orders introduced the word, “formally”. It is not in the Constitution.

So when we are talking about taking seats, we are not talking about people just coming to perform duties, that is a different interpretation altogether. And Mr. Speaker, I do not want us, as I said, to keep on raising red herrings. I think it is important for us to proceed and I will urge Madam Speaker to so do.
Madam Speaker 10:35 a.m.
Hon Members, I am ready to give my ruling on this matter. Fortunately, already the Member has vacated the Chamber and tomorrow morning we will swear him in. We could not do it today because we had no notice to put it on the Order Paper . So can we carry on with business now?
We move on to the Official Report of 13th January 2009. Any corrections?
Mr. S. K. B. Manu 10:45 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I am Hon Stephen Kwaku Balado Manu representing the people of Ahafo-Ano South in the Ashanti Region.
Madam Speaker, on the 13th day of January 2009, looking at the Official
Report of 9th January, that same year, I raised an issue about an omission that had occurred in the Hansard of 9th January 2009. When the concern was raised, the Hon Majority Leader made a comment but before he did, your Speakership, Madam, at column 104, second paragraph said, and with your indulgence, I quote:
Madam Speaker 10:45 a.m.
What column are you referring to?
Mr. Manu 10:45 a.m.
Column 104 of the Official Report dated Tuesday, 13th January 2009 - [Interruptions] - People are saying “Page, page” but when we are talking about the Hansard, we refer to columns, that is why I am not saying “page” [Interruption] -- We refer to columns, yes.
Madam Speaker, at that column, the second paragraph, you said, and with your indulgence, I quote:
“That is why I said to you that you have drawn attention to it and it will be looked at and the correction made. What else do you want?”
The hon. Majority Leader, talking after you also said, and with your indulgence, I will want to quote:
“Madam Speaker, I am not sure the reaction is actually to what I have said, because what I have said is simply to reiterate what we often do. That the omissions that are alleged to be absent from the verbatim reporting that we are getting from the Hansard Department would have to be cross-checked with the recorded version of what took place that day. So unless we cross- check, we cannot say that what he
Mr. Manu 10:45 a.m.

is saying was true and that is what transpired.”

May I, therefore, with your indulgence,

ask the outcome of the cross-checking that this honourable House was promised to be done? [Interruption] - Yes, I realize your attention was taken by the Clerk - [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 10:45 a.m.
No, I summoned him -
Mr. Manu 10:45 a.m.
You got me right? All right thank you.
Madam Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Hon Member, the Hansard Department will look at it and check it.
Mr. Manu 10:45 a.m.
Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, if I may ask, could the Hansard Department give us an indication as to when they would have looked at it because I thought the two- week break would have been enough for them to look at it. Could they give us a specified time by which time they would have finished looking at this?
Mr. Bagbin 10:45 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think we are dealing with correction of the Hansard of a number of days. I do not have my copies here but what my Hon Colleague is doing is not correction of what took place that day. Now, if he wants to get the answers to the issues he is raising, he can cross-check from the corrected version, because what comes here is usually in the draft form and that is why we are given the opportunity to correct it. So he should look for the final copy and go through it to see whether what he said has been captured in the corrected version.
So I will urge my Hon Colleague to do so and not to let us capture new things for today - that is not correction of the
Hansard. What happened that day -- what he is having now captured what really took place. So he is correcting something else and I think this is not the appropriate thing to do.
Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:45 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I think basically, what the Hon Majority Leader is saying is the route to adopt in such matters. Except that, he himself appears to be contradicting what he said the other time. Madam Speaker, I want to quote him “Madam Speaker . . . [Interruption.]
Madam Speaker 10:45 a.m.
What is the column you are referring to?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:45 a.m.
Column 104 of the Official Report of Tuesday, 13th January 2009. The Majority Leader, after the intervention by Hon Stephen Kwaku Manu Balado and your own direction, took it up and said, and I quote him:
“Madam Speaker, I do not know what the hon. Member is talking about. We are - [Interruptions] - I do not have the recordings here to know whether what he is saying is what actually transpired and that was what was captured. What we have is what has come from the Hansard Department and that is the verbatim report that they presented.”
Madam Speaker, the correction that my Hon Colleague sought was to the effect of the Hansard that had been submitted to this House on Friday, 9th January 2009. Now, on matters of substance, as this one is, it is dangerous to say that somebody should use the back route and effect corrections.

This, indeed, is a matter of substance. Madam Speaker, something is attributed to you and if it is difficult to get the Hansard Department to come and testify and even bring the recorded version as the Majority Leader demanded or was saying that he did not have, I think that we can in this case instruct them to do the right thing and maybe, report back to us and I think that we can go beyond this matter. Maybe, in two days time - [Interruption] - then we move beyond this matter. As far as I am concerned, the matter is a matter of serious concern.
Madam Speaker 10:45 a.m.
Well, thank you. We will do what you say, we will do that and it will be reported. So now let us move on then; any other corrections?
Mr. Manu 10:55 a.m.
Madam Speaker, I sought to know from the Hansard Department when specifically they would have done that work because this is a matter of extreme importance. We do not want the Hansard Department or the Parliament of Ghana to record a “page 28”. We want to have the facts stated as they were. That is why I think the Hansard Department must undertake before us when they would have finished cross-checking and setting the records straight to avoid a “page 28” of another time.
Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
Thank you, Hon
Member. We will do the right thing. Let us move on. Any other, other than this matter which needs to be corrected?
  • [The Votes and Proceedings of 13th January, 2009 and the Official Report of 13th January, 2009 were corrected.]
  • Mr. I . K. Asiamah 10:55 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. I think, last week, before the House rose, I raised an issue in connection with the manner in which the President
    swore the Presidential Oath before the nation. In view of the developments in the United States of America (USA), the fact that President Barak Obama made a single slip and he was made to swear again, and since we are part of a global village, I want to know when the President will come to this House and swear again before the people of this country.
    Mad. Speaker, for us it was more
    serious and more damaging to the Constitution than what happened in the USA. We need to protect the Constitution. I want us to refer to article 57 (3) of the Constitution which states that, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
    “Before assuming office the President shall take and subscribe before Parliament the Oath of allegiance and the presidential Oath set out in the Second Schedule to this Constitution.”
    Madam Speaker, clearly, this is a major
    Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Member,
    Mr. I. K. Asiamah 10:55 a.m.
    Madam Speaker,
    Madam Speaker 10:55 a.m.
    Hon Member, you still have not shown me the Order, so I think you are out of order and we will move on. Let us move on in accordance with the Order Paper.
    Hon Members, it is my pleasure to
    warmly welcome you back to the House after two weeks break. I am of the conviction that you had some rest and ready to assume work in earnest. It is my prayer that the Almighty God would graciously give us good health and be our guardian throughout this Meeting.
    Hon Members, I wish to place on
    record the kind support offered me during the short stint with you. I thank you all for your co-operation and expect that you will continue to give me the needed assistance to steer the affairs of the House during this Meeting which promises to be a hectic one.
    Indeed, there are a number of statutory
    businesses and in-house programmes arranged for the House to execute. I am informed that the induction and orientation workshop for Hon Members comes off from Friday, 30th January to Friday, 6th February, 2009. Leadership would apprise you of the details in due course but let me take the opportunity to entreat Hon Members to take the workshop seriously and endeavour to attend all lectures.
    It is through workshops of this nature
    that we will all learn the rudiments and intricacies of the rules and procedures of the House and parliamentary practices as well. One's contribution to debate on the floor of the House and indeed drawing Government's attention to the overriding needs of your constituents depend on your familiarity with the rules of the House.
    BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 11:05 a.m.

    Madam Speaker 11:05 a.m.
    Is it a point of order you want to make?
    Mr. Manu 11:05 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, yes and thank you. From experience in this House and from practice which has become a convention so to speak, the Business of this House has always been read from the Dispatch Box. May I know the reason behind the Majority Leader deciding to read from his seat? There may be a reason -- if we could know. [Hear! Hear!]
    Mr. Bagbin 11:05 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, we believe in change in the right direction. [Laughter.] This is Business of the House and there is nothing wrong with Business of the House being presented at the Member's seat. There is nothing wrong with it. Hon Balado Manu can present Business of the House from his seat; he

    The House will have the opportunity maybe to consider Statements and motions that may be allowed by your goodself and these could be debated. If possible, consequential resolutions may be taken.

    We have also programmed an induction seminar for all Members of Parliament. It is programmed to take place from Friday, 30th January to Saturday, 7th February 2009. I want to emphasize that the seminar is residential and Hon Members are expected to report on Friday evening at around 5.00 p.m. and your goodself, Madam Speaker, will have the opportunity to open the seminar.

    I believe that even those Members who have spent sixteen years in this House are urged to attend and at least take the opportunity to update their knowledge about parliamentary practice and procedure in general.

    We programme to take this seminar at the Executive Hostel Conference Room at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and the opening ceremony as stated earlier on, will take place on the 31st of January at the Graduate Block Auditorium of the same Institute. We will in due course communicate the details of the seminar to Members.

    We are expecting that the Appoint- ments Committee may also meet during the course of the week to consider the referral you made this morning to them.

    Madam Speaker, in accordance with our Standing Orders, particularly Order 160 (2) and subject to Order 53, the Business Committee submits to this

    House the order in which the Business of the House shall be taken during the week.

    Usually, we start our Business on Tuesdays which we did this morning the 27th of January 2009 and the programme is:


    Laying of Papers --

    Report of Leadership on the Formula for the composition of membership of Committees, Parliamentary Delegations and other Parliamentary Groups and Associations.

    Motion --

    Adoption of the Formula for the composition of Membership of Committees, Parliamentary Delegations and other Parliamentary Groups and Associations.

    Committee Sittings.

    On Wednesday we proceed along that we believe that these two days will give the opportunity for Leadership to present the formula for the composition of membership of committees, parliamentary delegations and other parliamentary groups and associations. And we have the opportunity to adopt the formula of these delegations, groups and associations.


    Committee Sittings --
    Mr. Bagbin 11:05 a.m.
    (a) Appointments Committee
    (b) Committee of Selection


    Laying of Papers --

    (a) Report of Leadership on re- constitution of the Membership of Pan- African Parliament.

    (b) Report of Leadership on re- constitution of the Membership of the ECOWAS Parliament.

    Committee Sittings --

    (a) Appointments Committee

    (b) Committee of Selection


    Laying of Papers --

    Report of the Committee of Selection on the Composition of the Standing and Select Committees.

    Madam Speaker, even though we scheduled it, we will have some problems with implementation of moving motions and consequential resolutions, because I believe the focus will be on the induction seminar. But because of the pressure of work, we believe we are likely to take on these additional items other than just the induction seminar, and that is why the Business Committee programmed the Business for this week.
    Mr. Bagbin 11:15 a.m.

    Motions --

    (a) Adoption of the Report of the Committee of Selection on the Composition of the Standing and Select Committees.

    (b) Adoption of the Report of Leadership on re-constitution of the Membership of Pan-African Parliament.

    (c) Adoption of the Report of Leadership on re-constitution of the ECOWAS Parliament.

    Committee Sittings.

    Induction Workshop for Members of Parliament at GIMPA.

    Madam Speaker, I want to end by emphasizing that all Hon Members of this august House are expected to attend the induction seminar at GIMPA; we have done this in conjunction with our brothers and sisters at GIMPA; we are going to have some specialists, some experts, some experiences from various institutions and civil society together with the Parliamen-tarians in this House share their experiences, ideas and thoughts on various subject-matters that would be of tremendous assistance and help to Hon Members. So it is important we attend all the sessions.

    Madam Speaker, it is with this, I humbly present the Business Statement for this week.
    Madam Speaker 11:15 a.m.
    The Business
    Statement as presented is adopted. Any comments?
    Mr. W. O. Boafo 11:15 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, if I heard the Hon Majority Leader rightly, I believe he said that the Appointments Committee would meet this week and possibly consider the nominations from His Excellency the President which have been announced today to the House.
    Madam Speaker, I believe those who have been nominated are going to be subjected to screening, investigation and judgement, not only by the Members of Parliament but also the public in general. It is today that Parliament has formally been informed; it is today that Parliament may have the authority and the right to invite the public to send their comments, observations or whatever they have concerning these distinguished citizens of Ghana who have been nominated by His Excellency the President to hold the high office of ministerial positions in the country.
    Madam Speaker, it is my humble opinion that the time allowed between the formal announcement of these nominations by Parliament to the public and the time which the Majority Leader has scheduled for the Appointments Committee to meet and consider these nominees is too short to enable the public to express their opinion or reservations on the nominees.
    Madam Speaker, I will therefore say that the Appointments Committee at their meeting this week, may only consider the modalities for which they are going to conduct the affairs rather than proceeding to invite the nominees and carry out the vetting. We need sufficient time and we would call upon the Majority Leader to schedule it for middle of February.
    Mr. Bagbin 11:15 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my Hon Colleague for his contributions, but it underscores my point that in spite of the experiences that we have gathered so far, it is important and very essential for us to attend the induction ceremony. The Appointments Committee would have to meet before they can programme what the Hon Member is talking about and that is why we put it there to enable them meet to programme what the Hon Member just submitted. It is not to meet to conduct public hearings, because they have to give seven days notice to the public to submit memoranda and other papers; but they must first meet, so I thank the Hon Member for his contribution.
    Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:15 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, I must commend the Business Committee for this comprehensive programme. For me, what is more important is the induction workshop for Hon Members of Parliament. I would humbly suggest that next time around we should have it immediately after being sworn into office before we begin parliamentary work for new and old Members to be more abreast with parliamentary procedures and practices.
    Madam Speaker, it is also incumbent on any new government about to take over power or any party that has won power to immediately assemble his group of people that they have in mind to be part of the transitional team to be inducted well so that they do not go about seizing cars, becoming police officers, becoming commanders here and there, becoming road engineers, project planners, vetting committees -- [Interruptions.] It is important for our democracy -- [Interruptions] -
    Please let us be serious with these issues so that people do not just impose curfews when they do not have mandate, people do not just act anyhow when they do not have mandate. It is critical for our
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:15 a.m.
    On a point of order. Madam Speaker, the Hon Member has decided to be a rabble-rouser and he knows very little about transition. I was part of the first transition in the year 2000/2001, after having two meetings in this country; those who knew what happened -- the confusion; ex cetera even though we said we were going to allow District Chief Executives (DCEs) to be there, within a week, they had been chased out. This is the most civilized and organized transition. The team is sitting, we have broken into committees and we are still sitting even after almost one month. This government just disregarded everything.
    Madam Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Member, are you making a point of correction or something?
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:25 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, I am trying to correct the record.
    Madam Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Are you giving information to him?
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:25 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, I am giving information to the Hon Member who just spoke to correct the records and
    Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:25 a.m.

    through him to the nation that it is the most organized and civilized transition that this country has seen.
    Mr. Asiamah 11:25 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, let us assume without admitting that what Hon E. T. Mensah is saying is the truth.

    Madam Speaker, in winding up, I believe that this country indeed must move forward. [Hear! Hear!] We must move forward and that, for me, is not the change that they promised Ghanaians; it is in total breach of what they told Ghanaians, the fact that they said they were going to change Ghana for the better, is that the better Ghana we are seeing today?[Interruptions.] We have been taken back hundred miles or whatever miles away. We have been taken hundred miles backwards and that is the more reason why I challenge the leadership of the Majority to condemn indeed the arbitrariness that is going on in this country today.
    Madam Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Members, does somebody want to make any comment?
    Mr. Bagbin 11:25 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, my Hon Colleague over there is entitled to enjoy himself, but as a member of the transitional team in 2001 and also in 2009, I can best tell you the difference between the two. Definitely, if it was wrong to do some things in 2001, it is equally wrong to do them in 2009, even worse. But Madam Speaker, it is important that at the right time, the information would be shared with Members so that we would be
    in a better position to decide for ourselves whether some of the actions were wrong or right.
    But Madam Speaker, the subject- matter is the Business Statement of the House and therefore the issue of relevance is important here. I think that what he is talking about is not part of the Business Statement of the House and he is completely out of order.
    Madam Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Any other comments on the Business of the House?
    Ms. Beatrice Bernice Boateng 11:25 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, mine is on the proposed induction for Members. The date as found on the Order Paper is stated from 30th January to 7th February 2009. I just want to have a further briefing, though we have been told that with time we would be given further briefing. I just want to know whether Saturday and Sunday are inclusive of these days scheduled. We should be put in the known about it earlier so that some of us who might have scheduled certain things could rewind and have them done rightly.
    Mr. Bagbin 11:25 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, I humbly urge her to rewind her other businesses and that is why we are informing Hon Members today. Madam Speaker, commencement is on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday are inclusive, they are part of the seven days. Madam Speaker, as a full Member of Parliament, the business of this House takes precedence over any other business. You can only go to transact any other business with the permission of Madam Speaker. So I believe before we start asking for permission, it is important to even go and learn how to ask for the permission and that is why the need for the induction course. So let us take it that Saturday and Sunday are inclusive.
    Madam Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Does that settle

    the issue?
    Ms. Boateng 11:25 a.m.
    No, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I think the Hon Majority Leader has gone out of place the way he has answered my question. I have just said that I just wanted to know whether Saturday and Sunday are inclusive. We should bear in mind that we have new Members in the House and that is why the induction is very important. I have also learnt that proceedings of Parliament take precedence over all other things -- That is why I asked that question. So it should simply be Saturdays and Sundays are inclusive and that ends it, but the way he went about it is far and above what I expected.
    Mr. Bagbin 11:25 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, I may have a different style from hers, maybe it is a matter of presentation. The intention was not to draw anything apart from just answering directly the issue she raised. Madam Speaker, Saturday and Sunday are both included in the programme.
    Madam Speaker 11:25 a.m.
    Hon Members, in the absence of any other contribution, the Business Statement as presented is adopted.
    Hon Members, we move on to item 5 on the Order Paper.
    STATEMENTS 11:35 a.m.

    Prof. Mike Oquaye (NPP - Dome- Kwabenya) 11:35 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make this Statement on the floor of this honourable House on the elections in America and the election of President Barack Obama.
    Madam Speaker, on the 20th of January
    2009, history was made in the most powerful nation on earth. Against the background of unprecedented spectators proudly waving the American flag, an African-American took the Presidential Oath. Barrack Hussein Obama became the 44th President of the USA. Even the number was significant. School children will never forget President No. 44.
    The lessons of the event make very
    useful analytical study and are very relevant to us in Ghana.
    Madam Speaker, first, it was a victory
    for God - our God. It tells us He never sleeps. To those who trust in Him, God says He is able to do exceedingly abundantly, beyond their wildest imagination. God could have used another Black American but He chose one whose father had come direct from Africa still holding his African name - Obama. Incidentally his name is pronounced Oba Ma in his village.
    Many African-Americans have wept volumes because they had lost their names and their identities. When the time came for a Black President, his Africanness had to be distinct. Hence Obama from Kenya. Obama was raised by his mother as a single parent at one stage; he was raised by a step-father at another; he was finally raised by grand parents. He went through all the trials of youth. And God still fulfilled His purpose in him.
    Second, Madam Speaker, it was a
    victory for the Black race. The country founded by slave owners; the country where State Governors ordered troops to shoot down Blacks who sought to attend University; where our Finance Minister K. A. Gbedemah was ordered out of a restaurant in Washington because of his colour; the nation where “nigger” has for a long time been the most piercing term of insult; that nation had voluntarily and overwhelmingly voted for a “nigger” to

    rule America from the White House. A myth indeed is broken. Madam Speaker, this should be a perpetual encouragement for the youth of Ghana, especially those from broken and poor homes. They can make it!

    Discrimination is deep-rooted in humankind and even has philosophical foundations. Aristotle justified slavery and went on to say that by their very physique some human beings are designated as slaves by God. Cicero was later to challenge him and opine that no human being exposed to virtue is incapable of attaining it by virtue of his/her race. Discrimination has been justified on even religious grounds. We wish President Obama well and pray that the success of his Presidency will sound the death knell of global discrimination.

    Third, it was a victory for the White

    Race in the USA. Blacks are only about twenty per cent of the population. Those who voted to elect Obama are white and we should never forget that. They saw sterling quality in Obama and they voted for him to lead the nation.

    Madam Speaker, ethnicity, if it continues to deepen, may have grave, unprecedented consequences in Ghana. We should learn to open up and vote on issues and principles devoid of tribal considerations. Tribalism does not pay. In our marriages, in our work places, in our politics, business et al, let us do away with tribalism. The tragic traits of tribal politics should be eschewed in Ghana.

    Fourth, Madam Speaker, it was a

    victory for a man who knew what he was about, committed to his cause, undaunted in his course and who succeeded against all odds. Every Ghanaian child should say in the future, “Yes, I can” and our nation will move forward. Let no Ghanaian child think that the heights attained by great men

    were attained by sudden flight; while their neighbours slept, they burnt the midnight candle. Obama is a first class scholar; holds a doctorate cum summa laude from Harvard, University Professor, lawyer et cetera. He was Editor of the Harvard Law Review, community worker, U.S. Senator et cetera. With commitment, a focused mind and principled life, you also will get there. This is the message to the youth.

    Fifth, the ceremony itself provided

    lessons. The day before inauguration was the Public Holiday established in memory of Martin Luther King, assassinated in 1968. President Obama attended the ceremony and stood on the same steps on which King made his famous Speech in 1963 - “I have a Dream”. If anyone ever thought King died in vain, that person must have revised his/her notes that day. Let us stand for the truth and for Ghana. If you die in the process, you will not die in vain. Indeed, King's eyes were opened by the Almighty God to foresee and forecast the day in America when human beings would not be judged by the colour of their skin; when all shall be free; when all shall have equal opportunities; and justice shall prevail.

    Madam Speaker, we must work to create this equality. We must ensure that the Northern Development Fund, for example, of $1 billion is established. That the rights of women are enhanced. That trokosi is no more; and Affirmative Action Law is passed before this Parliament ends its term. As lawmakers, we should use the law as an instrument of social engineering to emancipate Ghanaian women fully and finally.

    But the victory was not for Martin

    Luther King alone. The victory was a victory for Malcolm X, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, General Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and other Black

    Leaders. The seed one sowed, others watered and God gave the increase. Our politicians may well learn. We can only play our part.

    Sixth, Madam Speaker, we also need to

    preserve our heritage in Ghana. Obama had a hero in his political career - Abraham Lincoln. And Obama used the Bible which Abraham Lincoln used for the Presidential Oath in 1861. Can we today find the Bible President Nkrumah used in 1960? Perhaps some day a CPP President-elect might want to use it. Role models are crucial in getting our youth to aspire to greater heights. We should build our institutions and preserve our heritage. Maybe, we want to start from Parliament.

    Madam Speaker, the American

    ceremony was definitely elegant and worth of emulation. Dignity prevailed. There was an opening prayer and a powerful closing prayer with a Benediction. The flags we saw were American flags. It was a national programme. God was given honour. A nation had come together for a celebration in glorious harmony. Ghana is a Godly nation and it must show on such occasions.

    Madam Speaker, this House has recorded how chaotic our programme was. We should learn. It is clear we have to hold our election early November and let the President assume office in January as in the USA. The advantages are many. The victorious party has plenty of time to celebrate and make room for an inauguration for all Ghanaians. Electoral disputes can properly be resolved and if a party has a case it wants to pursue in court it will not look as if that party wants to be disruptive. Run-offs can take place without creating problems. There will be time to have Ministers chosen, et cetera. What must be done, must indeed be done well.

    Madam Speaker, on his road to be
    Alhaji Mubarak Muntaka (NDC - Asawase) 11:45 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made by the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and thank him very much for the Statement.
    Madam Speaker, during the primaries of the Democrats in the United States, many, many around the world did not give Obama a dog's chance of ever leading his party, let alone to lead the United States of America. But his conviction that he can make it finally made it possible, and today, many in the world who in the initial stages never thought he could make it are now praising and encouraging others to follow the steps of Obama.
    Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President of the United States of America, Barack Husein Obama, is only 46 years old. I do not have the least doubt in my mind that if it were in Ghana, everybody would say that he is not matured enough to lead Ghana. We see it everyday. With every little step that you take, people are quick to remind you of how young you are; they are not looking at the potential in you; nobody is looking at the initiative in you; nobody is looking at how you groomed yourself, but everybody is just reminding you of how young you are and why it is not possible. We spend so much time talking about why it is not possible, instead of talking about how it can be possible.
    I think what Obama has achieved is a great inspiration for not only the young persons of Africa but every young person everywhere in the corner of the world.
    Madam Speaker, since Obama went
    through the primaries and led his party to the heavily contested election that brought him to the Presidency of the United States of America today, I have looked at America and at certain points in time really wished that Ghana were like America. Madam Speaker, our laws, our Constitution clearly give all of us the opportunity to be whatever we want to be. But I wonder whether we who have made this Constitution, the laws, are really ready to give each other the opportunity to be what we are. Madam Speaker, with your indulgence, I quote the Constitution of Ghana, 35 (5):
    “The State shall actively promote the integration of the peoples of Ghana and prohibit discrimination and prejudice on the grounds of place of origin, circumstances of birth, ethnic origin, gender or religion, creed or other beliefs”.
    Madam Speaker 11:45 a.m.
    Hon Member, is it on a point of order?
    Mr. Agyenim-Boateng 11:45 a.m.
    Madam Speaker, I am coming on an order here. I am drawing my Hon Colleague's attention to issues concerning where kingdoms extend to. I am afraid I think he is veering into other areas. Beyond that, I want to associate myself with - [Interruptions.]

    Madam Speaker, if Hon Members would give me the opportunity to say whatever I want to say -- My order continues.
    Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    Hon Member, can I come in? I asked if you were rising on a point of order. If it is to contribute then we will hear him and come to you later. We will let him finish and then we will hear your comments too.
    Alhaji Muntaka 11:55 a.m.
    Madam Speaker,
    thank you. I believe that is why this seminar should have come earlier so that we learn the rudiments of the House.
    Madam Speaker, when I started
    referring to regions, if my Hon Colleague heard me right, I said I was using these ones hypothetically, not to mean that that is what truly happened and I was just being hypothetical, citing Greater Accra Region and what have you. But if he doubts it, I am from the Ashanti Region and I know that the chiefs of places like Nkoranza hold allegiance to Otumfuo, the Asantehene. That is just what I was trying to portray and that is a fact that even though Goaso might be located in the Brong Ahafo Region, it still holds allegiance to the Otumfuo, which is the Asantehene.
    So just to buttress my point that these regions that we have are only political demarcations and we should not restrict our thinking to the fact that if one is
    for example, a Gonja therefore one can necessarily exploit one's potentials only in Northern Region. That is what I am trying to drive home, that no matter where a Ghanaian is found, regardless of whether he is a Moslem or not, he should not be restricted by the political demarcations that we have. That is just what I am trying to drive home.
    Madam Speaker, the other thing that
    keeps eating us, we the youth of this country is the constant reminder of how inexperienced we are. For every move that we want to make people are quick to tell us that; “Oh! You have only two or five years working experience in this area. In this particular area, you have never even worked and therefore you cannot even dare in that area.” Madam Speaker, in this sense, I believe we would never have a President because nobody gets the experience of being a President before becoming a President.

    Madam Speaker, in concluding, I

    would want to congratulate the President of the United States of America and also urge that our country should wake up, open more opportunities for the youth. I even urge our President, President Mills to please open his ears and close the ear that listens to the old that keeps saying that the youth are not experienced. I believe that a youth that is motivated by service can be more productive to the interest of our country, with all due respect, than the old that is interested in just occupying the post.

    Mrs Catherine A. Afeku (NPP -

    Evalue-Gwira): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to lend my voice to the Second Deputy Speaker's Statement.

    Madam Speaker, I am quite happy and

    elated that President Obama has been elected but my elation is on his decision to appoint Senator Hilary Clinton as his Secretary of State. Madam Speaker, article 27 (3) of our Constitution gives me the hope that this unity and this effort or that olive branch stretched by President Obama will also be an inspiration for women in this House and His Excellency President Atta Mills.

    The Statement made here reiterates that women shall be guaranteed equal rights to training and promotion without any impediments from any person. Senator Clinton was competing with President Obama but now she is part of his government. That stretch of unity should also be a lesson for us in our budding democracy.
    Madam Speaker 11:55 a.m.
    Hon Members, we would have two more contributions from both sides and we would move on.
    Mr. Haruna Iddrisu (NDC - Tamale
    South): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by the Second Deputy Speaker, Hon Michael Oquaye which raises very thought-provoking and fundamental issues.
    Madam Speaker, as much as there are
    lessons to learn from American politics, we also must be guided by history. America promulgated its Constitution in 1787, precisely some 200 years ago. Therefore, if Ghana is still found wanting, we still have some distance. That is not to say that time should be an excuse in not deepening our values and principles as we pursue democracy.
    Indeed, Madam Speaker, very
    remarkable things have happened in American politics. One, it is not just the election of the first Black American to the high office of the President of the United States of America, but indeed, if
    Madam Speaker 12:05 p.m.

    we cast our minds back, Madam Speaker, on February 26, 1869, we call it the 15th Amendment, there was the Amendment which allowed for Black suffrage, for black persons to even have the right to exercise the right to vote in America. Indeed, it was ratified subsequently in 1870 on February 3. That should tell us how much America has evolved with its politics and democracy. Even mere participation was a problem. Today, it is no longer participation; it is that a Black has assumed the highest office.

    May I, Madam Speaker, commend the

    Hon Member who made the Statement and to say that the only area where I slightly have some disagreement with him -- [Interruption.] I hear that I should stay away because I should not debate the matter. His suggestion that we possibly should take a second look at our election date is a very welcome idea given the fact that we have had a very difficult transition, with difficult constraints of time. But Madam Speaker, it is a matter of our electoral laws and the provisions of our Constitution.

    Madam Speaker, very recently, the

    Electoral Commissioner of Ghana, Dr. Afari-Gyan in a very brilliant article in one of the newspapers raised issues about the possibility of changing the date from 7th December, to 7th November or any other date in November. But Madam Speaker, that would require some constitutional amendment and some review of our electoral laws.

    The provisions, particularly the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections, if we are to maintain 7th December, we have this provision of elections to be held not later than 30 days. Going by those calculations, the only way out will be to separate the presidential and parliamentary elections from being held the same day. But it has its own advantages for us as a country in terms of resources and many other related issues that we do not

    have one political party abandoning the parliamentary elections because of poor showing in the presidential election. Therefore, having a single date, in my view, is important.

    Madam Speaker, the Hon Member who

    made the Statement raised issues of tribal politics and I think that it is important that we all resolve and commit ourselves to eschew that practice in our body politic because it is something that can undermine the integrity of our electoral process and can undermine the integrity of our democracy. It is even a recipe for conflict where merit is no longer the issue, competence is not an issue, it is about the geography of where you come from if it becomes a matter to be determined. I think that I share his position on that particular issue.

    He also raised issue about the need for us to preserve our heritage. Madam Speaker, even as we attempt to preserve our heritage, may we remind ourselves of what we have done as a country to honour the founding fathers of this country.

    A few days ago, I read in the newspapers about the attempts to celebrate the centenary of the late former President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. It is my honest submission that the State should take particular interest in it if we are to honour our heroes and if we are to preserve our heritage. Some of the values that they stood for are still real and significant today as they were a few years ago.

    Madam Speaker, may I now conclude on the issue of the American ceremony and some issues that have been raised on the floor of this House. In the American politics, and I do believe that Hon Members will share the position -- Yes, the Majority Leader had cause, supported by the Minority Leader, to make a Statement on this floor that what happened at the Independence Square was not desirable in terms of the chaos that was associated

    with it. And I think that as a House, we should clearly accept to make a distinction between activities of the State and political partisan activities. I believe that His Excellency President Mills apart from the pursuit of his own noble objectives would learn from the American experience.

    I heard Hon Catherine Afeku make a suggestion as to how to co-opt people from the other side. Regrettably, we have not developed that bi-partisanship yet. But trust that President Mills has made a commitment that he will rule Ghana, he will run with all competencies regardless of where that competence is found. Political colour will certainly not be the basis.

    Madam Speaker, I support and commend the maker of the Statement.

    Mrs. Gifty Eugenia Kusi (NPP

    - Tarkwa/Nsuaem): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to congratulate the first Black President of the United States of America, President Obama. Madam Speaker, the whole world was very excited when history was made in America, an event which is a dream come true, and I know that even though all America is happy, black Americans are happier.

    Madam Speaker, today, I want to say kudos to all those who encouraged President Obama to achieve his dream. I know that there are those who would say this is not done, you can never do it. But there are those who would say go on and I would support you. All of them today are happy. Madam Speaker, I know that people contributed in cash or in kind but I say that in Ghana here, we have a problem especially, women.

    Madam Speaker, if somebody wants to do something that has not yet been done, it is very, very difficult. People would not support you or even your family, if you
    Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC - Wa Central) 12:05 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity to also thank the Hon Member who made the Statement, Hon Mike Oquaye for bringing this up in the Parliament of Ghana.
    Madam Speaker, Ghana gained her independence and was touted as the first black African country south of the Sahara to gain independence. And in the declaration of independence, our first President talked about the African personality. He also talked about the Black Star - the rising Black Star. Madam Speaker, he took inspiration from lots of people including those from the United States of America itself. And that inspiration was also generated in America itself when Martin Luther King talked about the contents of the character of a person rather than the colour of the person. And so we judge people today, and it has never been truer than now that we judge people today not because of the colour of their skin but the contents of and the quality of their character and intelligence and the vitality they have.
    Madam Speaker, I am saying all these because President Obama represents a certain change, a certain colour, a certain perception in the world today which cannot be ignored. He is a transition between the old and the new, and represents an African personality that can rise beyond the ordinary. Madam Speaker, there is a very important lesson Africa has to learn here. It is not because President Obama is a black person but also because President Obama is a lowly placed person or was a lowly placed person without any opportunities to develop. But with only his intelligence he rose to the topmost in the United States
    Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC - Wa Central) 12:15 p.m.
    And so the lesson Africa has to learn here is the fact that Africa from nowhere has the potential to rise to become something. And that is a very, very important lesson. Madam Speaker, he mentioned something which is very critical in his campaign and after his victory, and it is that his victory or his policy represents hope over fear. And so this is a message not only to the people of America but also to all other people, especially young people around the world that the change we are talking about or he is talking about is a very important one and has a potential to change the character of people, to change the potential of people, to allow people to break loose from all kinds of fear into the world of success.

    Madam Speaker, but the important thing we have to gain from Obama's victory is his pronouncements after his victory. He said that for all those countries and people who are poor he will be willing to extend his hand to them. He is not saying that you sit there for him to come and help you and that is what people are making a mistake about. Most Africans are thinking that as soon as there is a black man in the White House then definitely they will gain from him but you cannot gain from him without doing something. So he is saying that we need to lift up ourselves and then he will help to lift us up.

    So I suppose that with this victory we will take advantage of it by working out our own policies to coincide with his own policies because the United States will never never keep permanent friends but they will keep permanent interests. He will not change America's policy but he will allow Africans to take advantage of

    his present policy position and it is for us all to now take advantage of that position to be able to gain out of it.

    Madam Speaker, the Hon Member raised some issues about the fact that certain practices have to be left out in our Ghanaian society and he was talking about trokosi and some other issues. I think the other thing we have to think about today is the issue of kayayei. The number of young people who are out there, young women who have the potential to have risen but are finding themselves at the big cities and doing all kinds of menial jobs, suffering all kinds of diseases and being abused severally.

    Madam Speaker, the United States of America is teaching us a lesson that all human beings have the potential to rise and be useful to the nation and that the nation has a responsibility to create the same conditions for everybody. And so Madam Speaker, let us learn this lesson that Obama is a representation of the class of people who are described as disadvantaged but who because the nation has created condition for them can rise to the very top and be important to the nation.

    Madam Speaker, with these few words, let me thank the Hon Member who made the Statement again. We do not just say that we do not take the victory lying down, we take it and make good out of it and benefit out of the policies that we are going to make in future. Thank you very much.

    Mr. Kwaku Agyemang- Manu (NPP

    - Dormaa West): Madam Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made by the Second Deputy Speaker and I will want to use the opportunity given me to congratulate President Obama for what he has achieved apparently representing a group on this globe.
    Madam Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, I
    think we agreed on two Hon Members from each side and I think we should bring this debate to an end and move on. I think the time is ended now. So let us move on to another business now.
    Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 12:15 p.m.
    Right Hon Speaker, before the Commence- ment of Public Business -- if I still have the floor I want to raise an issue and I am very happy that the Majority Leader is here and the Minority Leader is here because I tried to resolve this issue on one-on-one but it did not work.
    So Madam Speaker, I am referring to Standing Order 45; if you take it from Standing Order 44 (4), it reads -
    “No person other than a Member or a person acting under the authority of the
    Mr. Bagbin 12:25 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I believe my Hon Colleague is completely out of order. If you go through the Standing Orders, if one wants to complain on a breach of privilege or whatever, it is stated as to how one should do it. So please, do not take us back - we have finished Statements, we are moving to Public Business and out of the blue he is raising an issue which in proper circumstances, I believe that notice should have even been given to Madam Speaker because of what he has just stated. So Madam Speaker, I urge you to rule him out of order and let us proceed with the Business of the House.
    Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:25 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I did not - [Interruptions] - I have the floor. I have the floor until I am
    ordered to sit down. His was a point of order. Madam Speaker, I did not intend to make any big - [Interruptions] - I started, maybe he was not listening. I said I do not intend to lodge a formal complaint but I want to raise it here so that it is never repeated. I have no problem; I know the rules very well and that is why I quoted it. If I want to come properly by way of a reference to - [Interruptions.]
    PAPERS 12:25 p.m.

    Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:25 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I did not finish speaking - [Interruptions.]
    Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, I think you were told that you can come in some other formal way and then you replied that you were not interested in that, you wanted to raise it just in the House and I said you have, have you not? You have raised it. So we move on because before you stood up I thought it was on a point of order on what - We had moved on even to the Commencement of Public Business, so please, if it is just - [Interruption.]
    Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:25 p.m.
    Your ruling is what it should be. But I did not - [Interruptions] - Words should not be put into my mouth. I said, Madam Speaker, with your permission, before we advance to Public Business, I have an issue to raise. So I did not say I was on a point of order but if you want me to come properly, I will come properly.
    Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Well, if you want to.
    Mr. Owusu-Agyemang 12:25 p.m.
    If that is what
    you want. But I did not want to make an issue of it but if that is what you want, I will make an issue of it.
    Madam Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    I think if you want
    to come properly, you can. I will not impose that on you. But if you want to come properly, do come. I just said I had moved on to Public Business before you caught my eye.
    MOTIONS 12:25 p.m.

    Majority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 12:25 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I beg to move, that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 80 (1) which require that no motion shall be debated until at least forty-eight hours have elapsed between the date on which notice of the motion is given and the date on which the motion is moved, the motion for the adoption of the Formula for the composition of membership of Committees, Parliamentary Delegations and other Parliamentary Groups and Associations may be moved today.
    Madam Speaker, we are requesting that we be permitted to move the motion today because of the urgency of some pending matters. We need to compose the committees and the Parliamentary Delegations in order to answer to urgent requests. More delays could mean this House losing some opportunities and that is why we want to move and debate the motion today, and we are requesting that we set aside the Standing Order 80(1) requiring a time of at least 48 hours to elapse before we move the motion.
    This has to do with the submission of some names for some parliamentary delegations which have been pending for some time now and we will need to submit the names by at least today or tomorrow in some circumstances. I believe because of the programme of the House too, we need to process and compose the committees before we go to the induction seminar.
    Mr. Ambrose Dery 12:35 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I rise to second the motion.
    Question put and motion agreed to.
    Resolved accordingly.

    Membership of Committees, Parliamentary Delegations and

    other Parliamentary Groups and Associations
    Mr. Bagbin 12:35 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House adopts the formula for the composition of membership of committees, parliamentary delegations and other parliamentary groups and associations.
    In doing so, I humbly present the report of the Leadership on the formula for the composition of the committees, delegations and other parliamentary groups and associations.
    1.0 Introduction
    PURSUANT to article 103 of the Constitution and Order 154 of the Standing Orders of the House, Leadership met on Monday, January 26, 2009 and discussed the formula for the composition of the Membership of Committees, Parliamentary Delegations and other Parliamentary Groups and Associations for the First Session of the Fifth Parliament.
    2.0 Respective Strengths of the Caucuses
    Madam Speaker, the Majority Caucus is made up of one hundred and seventeen (117) Members whilst the Minority Caucus has a total of one hundred and eleven (111) Members.
    The Majority Caucus is made of 114

    Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), two Members of the People's National Convention (PNC) and the Independent Member for Wulensi.

    The Minority Caucus on the other hand is made up of 107 Members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and three Independent Members representing Bosome-Freho, Bekwai and Nkawkaw.

    The CPP Member for Jomoro did not want to be aligned to any of the Caucuses. However, for the purposes of composing the various committees, delegations and other groups, she was constrained to belong to the Minority.

    In the light of the above, Leadership recommends that the composition of the membership of committees, parliamentary delegations and other groupings should reflect the respective strengths of the various caucuses-- that is 51 per cent for the Majority Caucus and 49 per cent for the Minority Caucus.


    Please find attached the following two appendices:

    Appendix I - Calculation of the Ratio

    Appendix II - A table indicating how the total number on each committee or group would be shared between the Majority and the Minority Caucuses.

    3.0 Application of Ratio

    In accordance with article 103 (5) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 154 of the Standing Orders of the House, Leadership has agreed that the above ratio as attached reflects the present respective strengths of the Majority and Minority Caucuses and shall apply in the composition of all committees, delegations and other parliamentary groupings. The ratio shall have general application except in circumstances where invitations specify particular composition. Madam Speaker, we accepted this ratio in the circumstances

    that we are faced with but as we move along, where there are changes, definitely, the position will also change.

    4.0 Conclusion

    Leadership respectfully recommends to the House to adopt this report and approve the formula for the Composition of Committees, Delegations and other Parliamentary Groups and Associations for the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

    APPENDIx 1



    117/228 = 0.513157894

    = 51%


    111/228 = 0.486842105

    = 49%



    TOTAL 12:35 p.m.

    MAJORITY MINORITY 12:35 p.m.

    MINORITY 12:35 p.m.

    Mr. Dery 12:35 p.m.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the motion.
    Question put and motion agreed to.
    Madam Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon. Majority Leader, any directions?
    Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 12:35 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I think that we will move a motion for
    adjournment and urge the committees that are already composed and are in existence to meet. So Madam Speaker, I beg to move, that this House do now adjourn till tomorrow, Wednesday, 28th day of January, 2009 at 10.00 in the forenoon. I beg to move.
    Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Madam Speaker, I rise to second the motion.
    Question put and motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 12:35 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.42 p.m. till 28th January, 2009 at 10.00 a.m.