General News of 2014-06-28

MPs stripped of protocol services

Members of Parliament (MPs) have promised to show the Executive arm of government the real ‘power’ of the Legislature after a communication from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that MPs, except the leadership of Parliament, have been stripped of state protocol privileges whilst in the United Kingdom.

Previously all MPs enjoyed state protocol whenever they travelled to the United Kingdom for official duties.

However, the correspondence from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said henceforth state protocol privileges would be extended to the President and his wife, vice president and his wife, ministers, as well as leadership of Parliament only.

This directive infuriated the Chairman of the select committee on Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Bandua, who said that the Executive has taken Parliament for granted for far too long and that Parliament must also flex its muscles.

He said sometimes MPs who are also ministers look down upon their fellow MPs who are not ministers.

“By the principle of separation power, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary are equally important and none is above the other in the discharge of their functions.

Mr Bandua, who is also the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Biakoye in the Volta region, explained that if the Executive has decided not to accord members of the Legislature any respect and recognition, then members of the executive must be prepared to come and discuss their own bills and pass them into laws when they present them to Parliament.

“It is unacceptable for the Executive to treat members of the Legislature in this way,” he noted.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Old Tafo, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, said Parliament must address the ill-treatment of the second arm of government by the Executive, saying the letter, which emanated from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was not even signed by the minister but a director at the Ministry, which is a grave affront to Parliament.

“We must call the minister here to explain these otherwise members of the Executive will continue to treat Parliament with such disdain,” he said.

The issue was raised by the NDC MP for Ho West, Emmanuel Bedzrah during the discussion of the business statement for next week.

The NPP MP for Tema East, Daniel Nii Titus-Glover also raised concern about the delay in the completion of the ‘Job 600? Complex, which would serve as offices for MPs even though a loan of $25 million had already been approved by the House for its completion.

According to the Tema East, the delay had brought a lot of inconvenience to MPs in the discharge of their official duties and that the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing must expedite work on the construction of the building.

The business statement indicated that the Minister of Energy would be in the House next week to answer questions on energy and extension of electricity to various communities in the Suhum and Atwima Mponua constituencies in the Eastern region and Ashanti region respectively.

Source: Daily Guide
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