The Deputy Leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) caucus in Parliament, Mr. Alexander Afenyo-Markin has asked the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Alban Bagbin, to declare the NPP as the majority in the House.
With the unending debate of which of the two political parties should form the majority in Parliament still unresolved, Mr. Afenyo-Markin, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu, said an interpretation of the Standing Orders indicated that the NPP caucus should be the majority in Parliament.
He made the submission when the Speaker, Mr. Bagbin met with the leadership of the House to resolve by consensus some issues in the house.
“As Mr. Speaker may well be aware, there appears to be an unending debate as to which party or parties form the Majority side of this House and which party or parties have the right to sit on the right side of Mr. Speaker.
“It is because of such controversies that I respectfully invite Mr. Speaker to hold the (NPP) Group in this House, together with the Independent member of Parliament for Fomena, having agreed to form a caucus and have a working relationship as the Majority side of the House with a total strength of 138 seats,” he stated.
He said although the rules of the House did not appear to define the Majority Caucus or the Minority Caucus expressly, “I, however, submit that Mr. Speaker should rely on Standing Order 7 for the appropriate guidance and the decision of this House as captured in the Hansard of January 9, 2009.
Mr. Afenyo-Markin is also asking that the formation of the various committees in Parliament should tilt in favour of the NPP caucus.
Mr. Markin said the ‘Majority Leader’ was defined under Standing Order 7 to mean, [A] Member of Parliament designated by the party or parties holding majority of the seats in the House as their recognised leader in the House.
Confusion over Majority
The issue of which party constituted the Majority in Parliament has dominated the media space since the elections were over with both parties referring to themselves as the Majority in Parliament.
Although the NDC succeeded in getting their nominee, Mr. Alban Bagbin, elected as the new Speaker of the house after polling 138 out of the 275 votes cast, the issue of who sits on the right side of the house is still unresolved as the house prepares to resume sitting on Friday (January 15).
Aside the issue of which party constitutes the majority in the House, another issue which still remains unresolved is the composition of the various committees in the house and which party is supposed to have more members in each of the committees.