Parliament reconvenes for 3rd meeting of third session
The third meeting of the third session of the Eighth Parliament commences today after almost two months break.
A statement signed by the Speaker, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, said the reconvening was pursuant to Standing Order 37 of Parliament.
Order 37 (2) says: "A Session of Parliament shall be held at such place within Ghana and shall commence at such time as Mr Speaker may, by constitutional instrument, appoint."
The second meeting of Parliament, considered as the shortest in recent times ended in August this year after barely one-and-a-half months of sitting due to activities to celebrate Ghana's 30 years of interrupted constitutional democracy.
It was also due to the planning and hosting of the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) by Ghana's Parliament in Accra.
The September 30 to October 6, 2023 conference attracted over 800 delegates including Parliamentary staff across the Commonwealth.
With this, Parliament has just about one-and-a-half months to clear a backlog of bills before the House rises ahead of the Christmas festivities.
Key on the agenda before the House rises will be the presentation of next year's Budget statement and Economic Policy of the government, by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
Also likely to be passed before the session ends is the anti-gay bill formerly Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, which is a proposed law that would introduce wide-ranging restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights which has generated heated debate in the country.
In an interview with the Majority Chief Whip and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsawam Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, he indicated that that meeting was basically a recall for budget.
He said, however, that a number of important bills especially from the Ministries of Roads and Highway and Energy were to be considered to wrap up the year.
From the Roads Ministry, Parliament would consider the Tema Arterial roads, the Tema Motorway expansion project and some concessionary loan agreements.
The Majority Chief Whip said bills from the Energy Ministry would seek to merge a number of its agencies under the ministry including the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) as well as Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) and Energy Commission.