Long hours of parliamentary sittings health risk–Muntaka

Majority Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Asawase, Alhaji Mubarak Muntaka has raised concerns for Members of Parliament (MPs) over the practice where legislation from the Executive are brought to the House in the last week of sitting before it rises.

He complained that long hours of working in the last days was risk on the health of the legislators and wondered why successive governments over the years had waited and rushed proposed legislation on the House few days before rising.

Alhaji Muntaka suggested to the House not to admit any eleventh hour business, with a caution that “the Executive cannot stampede us.”

A proposal by the Business Committee of Parliament for the House to adjourn sine die on 12 April 12, 2019, has been met with objection and calls on the Executive not to stampede the House with eleventh-hour pieces of legislation before it rises.

A discussion on the Business Statement after it had been read by Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, signaled to the House the need for a firm programming that would allow it to fulfill its international and global obligations, in addition to domestic parliamentary business.

Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu said last-minute proposed legislation does not allow the public, in whom sovereignty rests, to make inputs into the lawmaking process.

Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Oquaye, agreed that there should be a symbiotic relationship between the Executive and the Legislature, and appealed to the Executive to bring the proposed legislation timorously.

The discussions indicated a need to review the date for adjournment, and possibly fix it for April 3, 2019, in view of international assignments that the House would be engaged in, will begin sitting beyond the regular adjournment time and would add additional days to have enough time to complete its scheduled business.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu urged all Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government to endeavour to as soon as practicable, submit to Parliament any outstanding or urgent business which required parliamentary action before the House adjourns sine die but also took strong exception to the failure of the public universities to submit their annual reports to the House, in recent years.