The Leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has stated that the proposal by the NDC MPs for the composition of committees to reflect the current state of parliament is not doable.
The legislator disclosed that there is no basis for the composition of committees and it’s leadership to be divided equally.
He said their side had earlier proposed this same initiative when they first became the Majority but the NDC rejected this proposal.
Leader of the National Democratic Congress’ Caucus in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, has admonished the leadership of both sides to ensure that the composition of parliamentary committees is reflective of the current nature of the House.
He argues that because they both have the same numbers, the composition of the committees must be reflective of the numbers.
The Leader based his argument on Article 103, clause 5 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 154 of the Standing Orders of Parliament which states that “The composition of the Committees shall, as much as possible, reflect the different shades of opinion in Parliament.”
“It is on this score that the NDC Caucus will insist that the composition of committees of this 8th Parliament should reflect its very current nature. The composition should reflect beyond mere numbers and cover other factors including leadership of committees”, he added.
“The Rt. Hon Speaker chairs the Committee on Selection (Order 151) and the Standing Orders Committee (Order 157). The Appointments Committee and the Committee on Privileges are chaired by the First Deputy Speaker. The Second Deputy Speaker chairs the Committee on Members Holding Office of Profit.
“The Majority Leader chairs both the Business Committee (per Order 160) and the House Committee (per Order 168). Per Order 168, the Public Accounts Committee should be chaired by a Member whose side does not control the Executive branch of Government.”
The Tamale South MP further argued that in line with the Order 154 of the Standing Orders of Parliament and Article 103 (5) of the 1992 constitution, “Out of the 16 Select Committees, the NDC should chair 8 while the NPP would also chair 8. This would be a true reflection of the different shades of opinion in the current Parliament as envisaged in the 1992 Constitution under article 103 (5) and Order 154 of the Standing Orders of the House.”
But Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu reacting to this on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm said the proposal is not doable.
He told host Kwame Agyapong that regardless of the number difference in who becomes Majority, the call by the NDC is not something that can materialize but
“In our new standing orders, we proposed that the Minority side gets to chair some of the committees. We had finished working on this but the NDC MPs rejected the proposal and failed to support it and so I am wondering why they are proposing this now. The NDC MPs accused me of using this to control parliament.”
He said the NDC at the time lacked understanding of the proposal but if today, they have proposed it, we would have to then go back and adopt the Standing Orders and work with it.
He insisted that without this, the proposal cannot be implemented.
“The proposal would have helped parliament to work efficiently and so if the NDC MPs have now realized that it would be good to work with the proposal, then we would have to set up a committee so the NDC leader will present his proposal and if it is something we can work with, we will adopt it.”