Though the Independent Member of Parliament for Fomena, Andrew Amoako Asiamah has formerly written to the Speaker to declare his intention to do Business with the incumbent party in Parliament, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) caucuses in Ghana’s Parliament are still haggling over which party has the Majority.
While the opposition NDC insists that there is no clear Majority with the current composition of equal numbers of 137 seats for each side of the caucuses, the incumbent NPP claims that they are in the Majority because the Independent Member has decided to work with NPP.
Addressing a Press Conference in Parliament on Thursday, January 14, 2021 ahead of the scheduled first sitting of the 8th Parliament on Friday, the Leader of the opposition NDC, Haruna Iddrisu, indicated that the declaration of the Independent MP to do Business with the NPP in Parliament does not confer Majority Leadership on the NPP.
According to him, the official communication of the Electoral Commission, neither the NPP nor the NDC has Majority in Parliament. And therefore, nobody should engage in any fruitless efforts to add on what he or she does not have.
“By official record, the Parliament of Ghana is one of equal strength and equal numbers of 137 and 137. It has never happened under our democratic history and in particular under our Fourth Republic,” he indicated.
The Opposition Leader contended that the conveyance of the decision by the lone Independent MP to the Speaker by the use of the phrases, “associate with and collaborate with” the NPP Caucus did not mean that he was joining the NPP party. Therefore, the numerical strength of the NPP seats in Parliament could not be increased to 138 by the addition of the Independent seat to give the NPP the Majority.
Haruna Iddrisu, however indicated that the Opposition NDC Members have no problem taking their seat at the left side of the Speaker in their scheduled sitting on Friday, January 15, 2021. According to him, there was no law stipulating that taking a seat at the left side of the Speaker means one is in the Minority.
On the other hand, the Incumbent NPP Caucus in Parliament also held a counter Press Conference on the same day to respond to some of the issues raised by their counterparts in opposition.
Addressing the media, the Leader of the NPP Caucus, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, claimed that the decision by the Independent MP to pitch camp with the NPP would automatically give the NPP Caucus plus one seat, and therefore make the NPP Caucus the Majority Party in Parliament.
“Given the circumstances that we find ourselves in, the Independent Member of Parliament for Fomena, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, is the one who would have to swing the pendulum. If he decides to pitch camp with us, it will give us plus one advantage in the House. We will become the Majority side and the Leader of that side becomes the Majority Leader of the House. That comes without any equivocation,” he contended.
He further averred that he was aware that the Opposition NDC Caucus were also trying to reach out to the Independent MP to come seat with them to do Business. He therefore argued that the only reason the NDC reached out to him was for them to make up the numbers to become the Majority side.
The Leader of the NPP Caucus explained that the decision by the Fomena MP to do Business with the NPP would not amount to crossing carpet and therefore the situation of bye election would not arise as has been suggested.
He maintains that Andrew Amoako Asiamah remains an Independent MP but chooses to Caucus with the NPP.
Source: Clement Akoloh||parliamentnews360.com