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General News Thu, 23 Jun 2005

Parliament has grown in stature - Majority Leader

Accra, June 23, GNA - Mr Felix K. Owusu-Adjapong, the Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, has said Ghana's Parliament had grown in stature and subsequently come of age. "Democracy is thriving, thanks to the good work being done by our Parliamentarians and the support of the good people of Ghana," he said. The people of Ghana are happy that Ghana's Parliament is now a pillar of our democracy", he said.

Mr Owusu-Adjapong made the comments in London when a six-member Parliamentary delegation currently on a week's visit to the UK as part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Exchange Programme interacted with Sectional Heads of the Ghana High Commission at Belgrave Square.

Members of the delegation include Mr Alban Bagbin, the Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the Majority Chief Whip, Mr K.A. Okercheri, Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Mr John Akologu Tia, Minority Chief Whip and Mr Kojo Armah, Member of Parliament (MP). A statement from the Ghana High Commission in London quoted Mr Owusu-Adjapong as saying "useful co-operation persists among all parties in Parliament to deepen democracy and to allow the rule of law and good governance to prevail".

Mr Owusu-Adjapong said Parliament had been businesslike and looked at issues objectively in the broad interest of the nation within the context of participatory democracy.

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He invited views from Ghanaians abroad on the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 2005 recently laid before Parliament. Under the Bill, a person who is a citizen of Ghana resident outside the Republic could register as a voter if the person satisfied the requirements for registration prescribed by law other than those relating to residence in a polling division.

The Bill would empower the Electoral Commission to appoint "the Head of a Ghana Mission or Embassy abroad or any other person or institution designated in writing by the Commission as a registration officer to register a person to be a voter for an election". Mr Bagbin associated himself with the sentiments expressed by the Majority Leader and said despite differences in opinion, consensus was reached in about 80 per cent of the issues before Parliament "but sometimes we have to agree to disagree".

He said the greatest threat to the country and democracy was the tendency for people to view genuine pronouncements on national issues by parties as affront to the progress of the nation.

Mr Isaac Osei, Ghana's High Commissioner to the UK, said he was happy that Parliament had held its own since 1992 and provided an avenue for all parties to express their views and opinions on national issues. He said the respect Ghana's Parliament had gained within the international circles was indicative of the good work it was doing. 23 June 05

Source: GNA
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