Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye has urged leadership to stick to the scheduled time of doing business of the House before calling for ‘extra time.’
He noted that disregarding the regular time of doing business and then cramping the schedule with extra hours and days just to finish work is not healthy for the House and the members.
Speaker Mike Oquaye made the call during presentation of the business statement after some members have complained about additional sitting days announced by the Deputy Majority leader Sarah Adwoa Safo to include Mondays and Saturdays for the next three weeks.
The members argued if the House was to start sitting at exactly 10:00 am in the forenoon as advertised in addition to extended sittings, all the scheduled business for the meeting could be concluded without sitting on Saturdays.
The Speaker, in agreement to these calls, stressed the need for members to approach the business of the House for the rest of the term with mutual discipline.
According to him, an important thing for members who have been regular is not about whether they would attend sittings for the additional days announced but that serious business would be conducted.
“All we are saying is those who arrange business should themselves be here and ensure there is business there to do. That is the view of my two deputies.”
“I will like us to proceed in this manner then when the regular time is well utilized we can talk about extra times.”
“Members, let us together do it with discipline and commitment,” he stated.
MP for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, argued business of the House should not wait for members to come because the absent faces are the same every other time.
He stressed that since the Speaker is always punctual at 10:00 am business should start accordingly and appealed to the Speaker to insist sitting starts at exactly 10:00 am.
“There are moments when school children come to the gallery from very far away and have to leave early.”
“If we don’t start at the appointed time it is very difficult for them to get the full benefit of coming to observe the sitting of Parliament.”
“So the coming to Parliament late should not inhibit the business of the House. There are members who always come before ten, must we wait for those who come late before we can conduct business,” he queried?
Member for Nsawam Adoagyiri, Frank Annor-Dompreh, speaking on the issue argued the request for extended sitting through Saturday is flawed
According to him, MPs also have roles to play in the scheme of things in the present development of the Coronavirus and disclosed he has volunteered to work with the Municipal Health Directorate to support the crusade to educate the public.
“I want to agree with my colleagues that the Business Committee may have to rest the suggestion that we have to sit through Saturday and stick to the normal time,” he said.
Deputy Majority leader Sarah Adwoa Safo, however, implored the members to bear with the leadership’s arrangement on the extended sitting.
The arrangement, she said, is needed to ensure Parliament completes all the business scheduled for the term before it goes on recess.