Minority can’t “halt” gov’t business – Alhaji Muntaka

Majority Chief Whip Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase Constituency and a member of the Appointments Committee of Parliament says government business, and Ghana for that matter, cannot halt because of the decision of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to challenge the results of the 2012 Elections.

He said if indeed NPP MPs believed in rule of law, they would not have boycotted business in Parliament “once you have been given the opportunity for your case to be heard.”

Speaking on TV3’s late night news broadcast programme News @ 10 via phone, Alhaji Muntaka disclosed that report on the seven vetted nominees of President John Dramani Mahama will be put on the floor of Parliament for deliberations on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 when it resumes sitting, without recourse to reports that the Minority will boycott the discussion.

“They (NPP MPs) are members of Parliament and Parliament is meeting on Tuesday,” he said, implying the Minority are expected to make an appearance during resumption of sitting.

He noted that MPs work with the rules and the Majority is working within Parliament’s rules, which are backed by the Constitution, he added.

He explained that according to the rules, there has to be one-third of MPs present in order to form a quorum to conduct business while half of the total membership is required for decisions to be taken.

“We the Majority [members] are not taking chances,” he indicated.

“We will be there to ensure that the debate goes on and if it comes to voting, we will make sure that the president gets his ministers to start business,” Alhaji Muntaka told host Kenneth Osei Ampofo.

He, however, admitted that “it would have been more excellent and more beautiful if all of us were there”, arguing that the NDC perfectly formed quorum on the Appointments Committee.

He said they needed to be eight to form quorum and 13 to take decisions and on the first day of vetting, membership was 14.

The former Youth and Sports Minister further disclosed that Parliament has only been officially notified of 12 nominees from the president and so, after having vetted seven last week, five are left to go.

“So far as we are concerned, we have five more to go,” he stressed.

He outlined that Akwasi Oppong Fosu (Minister-designate for Local Government and Rural Development), Nana Oye Lithur (Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection) and Dr Oteng Adjei (Minister-designate for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation) are scheduled to be vetted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 while Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang (Minister-designate for Education) and Dr Edward Omane-Boamah (Minister-designate for Communications) will be vetted on Thursday, January 31, 2013.

Once vetting is done with, he says, reports will be sent to Parliament for approval.

“We have to support the government,” he emphasised.


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