This is the reason why the RT HON SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT had to set up the Adhoc Committee on the Motion of Censure;

It is always the case that some people claim to be more pious than the pope.

The House is made up of 275 members ( not 274 members) and the Speaker. The Speaker presides and in his absence or on his directive a Deputy Speaker presides. There can be no House without the Speaker. There can be no Parliament without a Speaker.

How does a House take a decision? Who in the House will frame the issue or question for the House to take the decision? The whole House?

The practice of Parliament is to make the Speaker lead the House and to empower the Speaker to admit business in the nature of motions, questions, bills, papers, petitions, statements for deliberations  The Speaker frames the questions and put or place them before the members to vote either by voice, head count or division at the conclusion of the debate.

The Constitution clearly enjoins Parliament to give an opportunity to the Minister to be heard in defence. The Constitution and the Standing Orders permit the Minister to engage a counsel to lead him in his defence.  On the floor of Parliament during plenary sessions or debates the Counsel cannot be heard because he is not a Member as defined by the Constitution but a stranger. As a stranger he is not allowed by the rules of practice and procedure of Parliament to enter the floor and lead the Minister. Where and how is the counsel then to lead the Minister in his defence? This can only be at the level of a Committee of Parliament. 

Who in the House will issue the directive to refer the matter to the Committee? By the rules and practice of the House, it is the Speaker.

Ghana now has a hung Parliament. 137/137 +1 independent member and a Speaker who by law is impartial.

Ghana has always had a Parliament with an even number of Members.  The 1992 Constitution created a Parliament of not less than 140 members. From 1993 to 2004 it was made up of 200 members.  From 2005 to 2012 it was 230 members.  From 2013 to date that for the first time it became 275 member- Parliament, an odd number. So the problem is not the number of the membership of the Committee.

Please, if the Committee fails to take a decision or make a recommendation, it is still mandated by the rules to present a report for a decision to be taken by the House of 275 + the Speaker. The House will take the decision provided the requisite quorum is met. 

Please, there is deep thought in whatever he does. Don’t underrate his knowledge, skills, experience and expertise in Parliamentary practice and procedure.

By: Awudu Ishaq

Source: Ghana/