MPs recalled to consider urgent business
Members of Parliament (MPs) have been recalled from recess to consider important parliamentary businesses from Monday, September 24 to Friday, September 28, 2018.
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, issued the recall to MPs in a letter dated September 14, 2018.
“In exercise of the power conferred on the Speaker by Order 42(3) of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana, I, Right Honourable Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, Speaker of the Parliament, do hereby direct that Parliament, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, be recalled from recess to sit from the 24th day of September 2018 to Friday, the 28th day of September 2018, to consider, among others, some urgent Parliamentary business,” the letter stated.
MPs went on recess on July 28, 2018 after 46 sittings of the Second Meeting of the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament.
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The Second Meeting witnessed the approval of important loans and commercial agreements, tax waivers, budget reviews and passage of bills into laws.
There were also occasions of disagreements between the Majority and Minority sides on the appropriateness of some loan agreements.
As anticipated, the two sides occasionally slugged it out over the true state of the economy in terms of inflation, depreciation of the cedi, debt stock and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures.
One of the major decisions taken by the Minority side was the resolve to boycott the National Identification card registration (Ghana Card) because voter identification cards were not considered as one of the primary documents for the registration.
The Privileges Committee also investigated the MP for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Agyapong, for his alleged contemptuous remarks against Parliament and the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
Although he apologised, the committee concluded that he was in contempt for his remarks that Parliament was cheap and useless.
But the House deferred the decision on whether to reprimand or suspend Mr Agyapong for making those remarks against Parliament to the next meeting of the House in October 2018.
The expectation that the Right to Information (RTI) Bill, 2018 would be passed during the meeting did not materialise although significant progress was made in the legislative process.
MPs began the consideration of the RTI and were expected to amend 91 clauses in the bill before its passage into law.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the budget review to Parliament on July 19, 2018, and there was a disagreement as to whether the economic outlook was good or not and whether the economic policies were prudent or not.
Some of the loans approved included credit and commercial facilities totalling €47 million to finance expansion works at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).
Parliament again approved a €93 million loan facility for the redevelopment and modernisation of the Kumasi Central Market.