The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has declared the New Patriotic Party (NPP) the Majority side in the 8th Parliament.
He made the pronouncement on the floor of the House on Friday January 15 after reading a letter written to him by the Independent Member of Parliament for Fomena Mr Andrew Asiamah Amoako informing him that he was going to do business with the NPP.
“With this official declaration to the House, the House will accord him the space to do as he has stated. Whatever he said outside was of no effect so far as the business of the house is concerned, therefore he had to do it officially for it to be captured in hanzard,” the Speaker ruled while declaring the NPP side the majority.
This ruling of the Speaker brings an end to the debate that has arose between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament in the House over who occupies the Majority position in the 8th Parliament
Prior to the Speaker’s ruling, the NDC caucus had dismissed assertions by their colleagues from the governing party that the NPP lawmakers were the majority side following the decision of the Fomena Independent MP to do business with them.
Haruna Iddrisu, leader of the NDC caucus said the letter written to the Speaker of Parliament by Mr Asiamah Amoako, did not state that he was joining NPP side in the House therefore, the governing party could not claim to have majority seats.
The Fomena lawmaker who is also the 2nd Deputy Speaker on Wednesday January 13 officially wrote to the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon. Alban Bagbin informing him about his decision to associate himself with the NPP caucus in Parliament.
Analysts tipped the NPP to form the Majority in Parliament following the stance of the Fomena MP
The letter to the Speaker dated 13th January 2021, said “I Andrew Asiamah, an Independent Member of Parliament for Fomena Constituency and now the 2nd Deputy Speaker for same Parliament do hereby declare that , I shall, for purposes of transacting business in the House associate myself with the NPP caucus in the Eight Parliament .
“For the avoidance of doubt, I do hereby affirm that I shall cooperate and collaborate with the NPP Caucus in the Eight Parliament.”
But speaking at press conference in Parliament on Thursday January 14, Haruna Iddrisu who is also MP for Tamale South said “We have heard that the Fomena MP, who is the only independent MP has written to the Speaker and I am quoting verbatim from his text that ‘I shall, for the purposes of transacting business in the House associate with the NPP.’ Get the words, he did not say ‘I am joining the NPP’.”
“He is not seeking to join the political party, therefore, nobody should do easy mathematics of 137 plus one. Because all the Fomena MP said was ‘I will cooperate and collaborate’ and that is different from joining,” he cautioned.
“A week ago, the Clerk of Parliament read a letter from the Electoral Commission. The said correspondent indicated that the NDC had 137 seats and the NPP also 137 seats and one independent MP. Therefore, from the official correspondent of the EC, neither the NDC nor NPP has a majority in Parliament.
“So ladies and gentlemen of the media, nobody should be engaged in any fruitless effort to add on what he or she does not have. This is because, by official records, the Parliament of Ghana is of one of equal strength and equal numbers,” he stressed.
He however noted that his side of the House had no qualms siting on the left side of the speaker where mostly, Minority lawmakers sit.
“The Ghanaian people want Parliament to work for them and in their favour. In the interest of the Ghanaian people, our side has no difficulties sitting on the left.”
He further called for a fair composition of the various committees of parliament following the number of seats the party and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are occupying.
“The NDC caucus will insist that the composition of committees of this 8th parliament reflect in its very current nature because this is the first time we are having 137 – 137.
“Therefore composition of committees must reflect the character and strength of the political parties and the numbers of their elected MPs.
“The composition should reflect beyond mere numbers and cover other factors including even leadership of committees because as we have 137,137, who chairs and who leads? We are equal.
“You must appreciate that parliament is a unique distinct and separate organ of state. We are the legislative organ and the way we do our business is a matter that reflect our strength and size.”