General News of 2014-07-05

Atta Akyea wants Mahama summoned; Adjaho intervenes

The Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South in the Eastern Region, Samuel Atta Akyea, has asked for an opportunity be created to quiz the President on the floor of Parliament.

“I think that the business committee should make something very novel for this house in terms of the business for the house. I am tempted to believe that they could pencil the President to come and answer questions once a month,” Mr. Atta Akyea requested.

He made the call at Friday’s sitting of Parliament, but was ruled out of order by the Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, who argued that Samuel Atta Akyea’s demand was alien to the 1992 Constitution.

“It is a constitutional matter and the President cannot come. I can tell you on Authority that on few occasions that even when the President wanted to come to the House, members of the leadership stopped him,” Mr Doe Adjaho said.

According to him, the right individual at the presidential level authorized to answer questions on the floor of Parliament is the Vice President.

The Majority leader in Parliament, Dr. Ben Kumbour, was however quick to add that it will be difficult to bring the Vice President under the same processes under which Ministers of State answer questions in Parliament.

“If the Vice President’s spirit moves him sufficiently and he opts to come to the House to join the debate, you might use that opportunity to press home what the opposition is; but it will be difficult to actually bring him under the processes under which we bring Ministers of State to come and answer a question,” Mr. Kumbour explained.

“Secondly, you will know that there is no very very clear specific mandate for the Vice President so anything he will be saying here will be in relation to the exercise of the Executive Authority of the President and it can get very messy,”Mr. Kumbour added.

Meanwhile, the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Member of Parliament, Frank Annor Dompreh, has expressed misgivings about the Business Committee’s delay in inviting the Minister of Finance to explain why many statutory funds are in arrears, leading to serious financial crisis for various state institutions.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Dompreh described the delay as a breach of the constitution.

He stated that the delay is having a negative impact on Ghanaians.

He bemoaned the Committee’s inability to deliver their duties as expected of them.

“I have a lot of respect for the Majority leader and the members of the Business Committee, but I think that the Business Committee has not done a good job.”

According to him, “ there is a deliberate attempt by the President and his Ministers to flout the laws of the country”

He therefore emphasized the need for Members of Parliament to address the issue with immediacy.

“The Minister of Finance and the President is hiding something from us and we must use all tools available to us to demand legitimate answers, and until this is done, some of us will never rest,”Mr. Dompreh said.