Parliament is set to adjourn later today [Saturday] for the first recess period.
Over the past week, the house has been saddled with work associated with the government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The decision to go on recess puts to rest speculations that this meeting will be extended to allow the house to support the Executive with all critical legislative support needed in these extraordinary times.
Minority threatens to boycott Parliament
The Minority had threatened to boycott Parliament if the House extends its sittings beyond today, Saturday, April 4, 2020.
The Electoral Commission (EC) had presented a Constitutional Instrument to amend C.I 91 to make Ghana card or passport acceptable documents for registration onto the voters’ register.
There were fears that the House may extend its sittings by a few days to allow for the Constitutional Instrument to mature after going through the mandatory 21 sitting days requirement.
The Deputy Minority Leader, James Avedzi Klutse in an interview on Eyewitness News said the Minority may skip the extended sittings if it is suggested because they “cannot put their lives at risk” as the case count for COVID-19 keeps rising in Ghana.
“The new Bill was laid on Wednesday so the House has to sit for another 21 days but the House cannot sit because of [the] C.I. We cannot continue. Parliament usually has calendars that we follow. If there should be an extension, we extend for one week. We are putting our lives at risk. You see us interacting with people every time. Meanwhile, we are talking about social spacing and distancing. We do not know whom amongst us has the disease and you want us to continue staying for another 21 sitting days. I think this will be too much for Parliament,” he said.
Minority boycotts sitting
Last Saturday, the Minority side of Parliament was empty during sitting.
The only Minority Member who showed up, MP for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, did not catch the eye of the Speaker when he stood up.
He then left the Chamber noting that should the Finance Minister present any emergency budget to fight the pandemic, his side of the House will avail themselves.
Ras Mubarak in an interview with Citi News justified the Minority’s boycott of the sitting.
“Last week, there were indications that we will not be part of proceedings today on conditions that time allotted for us to do business has not been exhausted fully to allow for Saturdays. There were also indications that the Finance Minister was coming but I got here and I was told he will not be coming.”
Following the outbreak of Coronavirus in Ghana, the Minority MPs earlier called on the Speaker to suspend sittings so no MP contracts the disease which has so far infected 204 people and led to the death of some five people who tested positive.