Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament Haruna Iddrisu has insisted that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) cannot claim to have the majority in the 275-member legislature despite the fact that the Independent MP for Fomena, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, has officially written to do business with the NPP caucus in the House.
“Advisedly and wisely, he is not seeking to join a political party and therefore nobody should do an easy mathematics of a 137 plus one. I will cooperate, or I will collaborate does not mean I am joining, or I am crossing over because it has its own constitutional implications which probably will require that a by-election be conducted if he was to join a political party,” Mr Iddrisu interpreted at a news conference in Parliament yesterday.
According to him, both NPP and NDC still have 137 seats apiece in Parliament and therefore the governing party cannot claim to have majority seats in the House.
However, Mr Iddrisu has indicated that the NDC caucus has no difficulty sitting on the left side of the Speaker in the Chamber.
“Let me assure the Ghanaian people that the NDC 137 MPs have no difficulty sitting to the left of the Speaker so long as our numerical strength is respected and respected in the composition of committees and in the determination of leadership of committees, whilst we continue to pursue legitimate legal and constitutional processes to procure what we deserve as a majority party, someone will say, what is on the left or what is on the right, we have no difficulty at all,” Mr Iddrisu stated.
Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin had on Wednesday January 13, 2021 met with the leaders of both NDC and NPP Caucuses in Parliament over the confusion that rocked the inauguration of the Eighth Parliament.
The question of which side should sit at the majority side of the House was one of the contentious issues that generated heated debate and chaos in the lead up to the swearing in of MPs-elect on the day.
Information gathered indicated that the leaders of the two sides could not agree on which side of the caucus is the majority or minority in the legislature.
As a result of this stalemate, the leaders from both sides were tasked to go and discuss the issues and come back with a recommendation on how the issue could be resolved.
Additionally, Mr Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the Independent MP for Fomena and Second Deputy Speaker was asked to write officially to the Speaker on which side he intended to align with.
The Second Deputy Speaker has since written to the Speaker, notifying the House he will be doing business with the NPP caucus in Parliament.
Chaos in Parliament
It would be recalled that there was chaotic disruption of proceedings for the election Speaker and the eventual inauguration of the 8th Parliament in the early hours of January 7.
The confusion witnessed in the Parliament was as a result of a stand-off between MPs-elect from NDC and NPP over the voting processes for the election of a new Speaker.
The NDC insisted on a secret ballot per law, in anticipation that there were some NPP MPs who would vote for its candidate.
For hours, there was a deadlock between both sides, culminating in the deployment of armed military and police personnel onto the floor of Parliament.
After the disagreement was settled, the ballot was cast, and Mr. Bagbin was eventually elected Speaker.