Madam Speaker, I could not agree more that it is important that PNC, CPP and in fact, the Independent are represented on this Committee.
Madam Speaker, I seek refuge and find refuge in Standing Order 154. Madam Speaker, with your permission, I read:
“The composition of the Commit- tees shall as much as possible reflect the different shades of opinion in Parliament.”
Madam Speaker, with respect, I would
also want to refer to article 103 (5) of the Constitution. Article 103 (5) also reads:
“The composition of the committees shall, as much as possible, reflect the different shades of opinion in Parliament.”
Madam Speaker, indeed, if there is
any committee, if there has ever been any committee which should strictly adhere to article 103 (5) of the Constitution and Order 154 of the Standing Orders, then it is this Committee.
We are seeking to review the Constitution, which is the fundamental law of the land and nobody should feel excluded from this process and indeed, Madam Speaker, the special cir-cumstances that my very learned, respected Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah talks about are for those special reasons, those special circumstances that I believe that the PNC, the CPP, the Independent, each in their individual capacities because eight Hon Members from the Majority Party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), eight Hon Members from the Minority Party, New Patriotic Party (NPP), we are representing our parties.
So our numbers should be reduced if we cannot increase the entire number -- then our numbers should be reduced, the Independent should be brought on board, PNC should be brought on board, CPP should be brought on board.
Madam Speaker, this is my respectful
Minister for Communications (Mr
Haruna Iddrisu): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to be associated with this Motion and to say that I believe that in future we should not
only be adopting the list but their terms of reference should be clearly defined and made known to this House.
Even though we appreciate that they are guided to do one or two things, it is important that we have an official report of the composition of this Committee and the terms of reference which clearly defines the responsibilities of this Committee and their reporting procedure.
Madam Speaker, you would recall
that when His Excellency the President appeared before this House, in his State of the Nation Address, he hinted at the initiative of having the Constitution Review Commission and he went on to name very respected and distinguished citizens of our country to shepherd the process of a Constitution review, which is very necessary.
Indeed, Madam Speaker, if you take even the parliamentary Hansards, on different occasions and at different times and from different shades of opinion, we have all asked for a review of some aspects of the Constitution, which we think is hindering the further evolution of our democratic process.
But Madam Speaker, I could not agree more with the Hon A. S. K. Bagbin and the former Attorney-General (Mr. Joe Ghartey) that this process must reflect all shades of opinion in this House.
Indeed, when His Excellency the President appeared before this House, he said that the process of the Constitution Review would be subject to acceptance by the political parties of Ghana. If I had your permission, I would have reference that particular paragraph in the President's State of the Nation Address to this House.
Now, beyond Constitution review and beyond comments, we would need to accept the recommendations of the Committee holistically and as one people. It should not be the case where one political party will stand far and say that