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Finance Minister to present expenditure in advance of first quarter of next year

Leader of Government Business and Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in presenting Business Statement for the ensuing week on behalf of the Business Committee revealed that the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta would present the expenditure in advance of appropriation of January to March next year next week. According to him the

Finance Minister would present the first quarter budget of next year on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 as the House is expected to consider the report of the Finance Committee on the same day and take the consequential parliamentary action. He further told the House, it is expected to sit on Monday, October 26, 2020 as well as have extended sittings beyond the 2:00pm stipulated time in Order 40 (2), to enable it complete scheduled business for each day of the week under consideration. Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Haruna to sponsor presidential commission bill to ensure presidential debate

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu is pushing for the introduction of a private member’s bill before the life span of the Seventh Parliament ends.

According to him, he would push for the establishment of a Presidential Commission to ensure that in the future there is a presidential debate facilitated by the Commission as this would compel a debate on the economy and infrastructure.

He further pointed out that this would enrich the Ghanaian governance system and competitive democracy, as far as presidential election is concerned.

Mr. Iddrisu made this remark on the floor of the House on Friday, October 23, 2020 when he supported Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak who wanted to know, at what stage the proposed revised Standing Orders of the House, would be introduced considering the life span of the current parliament is almost ended.

“Mr. Speaker, I know you would want the Private Members Bill to be part of your legacy and under your tuner the House accepted it”, the Minority Leader said.

Speaker Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye on his part directed that copies of the draft revised standing orders should be electronically made available to all lawmakers. The Clerk was directed to ensure this so that this week it is dealt with and MPs study the document.

The Tamale South lawmaker pointed out that with Article 89 (2) of the 1992 Constitution which is not an entrenched provision, with the private members bill, he could sponsor an amendment, on the composition of the members of the Council of State.

As each region should have a representative of the Council and with the country having sixteen regions now hence the need for such an amendment, and he is thinking of sponsoring such amendment with the Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.

Again, other lawmakers he pointed out want to use the private members bill to help address traffic situation on the Ghanaian roads and issues on witchcraft.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Its time to interrogate the composition of EC — Parliamentary Affairs Minister

The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has noted that the suspicion surrounding the composition of the Electoral Commission (EC) and other Commissioners did not start yesterday or a day before yesterday.

According to him the time has come for the constitution to be interrogated for the nation to better the composition of the EC so as to engender the trust in the institution.

He further pointed out that if the Commissioner and other Commissioners have to be nominated by the president, the time has come for Ghana to agree on a prior parliamentary approval and it should be absolute and not just a simple majority.

“The president who is making the nomination would be forced to be more consultative, right from all the major stakeholders, it would prevent the kind of acrimonies that we have every now and then. At the heart of the debate is the personalities we all think they have political colouration”, he said.

He made this remarks on Monday, October 26, 2020 when the Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs had an engagement with the security agencies and the political parties on the theme, “2020 election and its implications for peace and security in Ghana”.

Mr. Osei-Kyei questioned who did not know the political colouration of Dr. Afari Gyan, but there were no problems in those times and admonished that as a country we should be guided, because at the end of the day, “we have all resolved to keep the unity and stability of this country; our actions and inactions must reflect, let us see how to improve the system for the good of the country”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Speaker chairs mobilizing MPs and keeping nutrition as a priority during COVID-19

Speaker of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Rt. Honorable Sidie Mohamed Tunis on Monday, October 26, 2020 chaired a high-level regional meeting with the West and Central African parliamentarians on mobilizing, parliamentarians and keeping nutrition as a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting which was sponsored by the Action Against Hunger, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, and other international Non-Governmental Organisations was held virtually and comprised lawmakers from nine West and Central Africa countries including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria Senegal, and Sierra Leone.

Additionally, the meeting is also scheduled to have another session on the situation on the corona virus impact and resilience of West and Central African communities, and would be climaxed by a global discussion and co-chaired by Mamadou Diop Gnoumou and president for Nutrition and Food Security in Africa, Yves Fernand Mamfoumbi.

Meanwhile, Action Against Hunger, the world expert on hunger and malnutrition with over forty years operational experience confirmed during the World Food Day on Friday, October 16, 2020 that over seven percent of the world’s children under age five approximately forty-seven million children in 2019 suffer from a dangerous form of malnutrition referred to as acute malnutrition.

And further suggests that world hunger is projected to rise to an additional one hundred and thirty-two million people this year as a result of the pandemic with acute malnutrition itself projected to rise to fourteen percent, bringing the number of children under age five with acute malnutrition to fifty-four million.

Hence, the organisation calls for urgent action to save children’s lives and avert increased acute malnutrition and hunger during the pandemic and beyond.

Against, this backdrop, the meeting of the Members of Parliament from West and Central Africa comes exactly a period when Action Against Hunger, calls for global response in keeping nutrition as a priority during COVID-19.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

ECOWAS must act now; if Nigeria goes down, it would affect the sub region” —Mubarak

Ghana’s Member of Parliament for Kumbungu Ras Mubarak has urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to intervein in the current situation in Nigeria, especially the shooting of innocent protesters.

According to him, “perish the thought, if Nigeria goes down now it would affect the whole sub-region; Ghana, Benin, Togo and other sub-regional countries. West Africa and Africa must contribute in solving the situation rather than seeing it as challenges of Nigerians alone”.

In an interview with members of the Ghanaian Parliamentary Press Corps on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 the Kumbungu lawmaker noted that, the Nigerian Government on their part should take steps to address the concerns of the youth who are protesting to ensure peace.

He further cautioned the protesters to be watchful of persons who might want to capitalize on the situation for all manner of reasons. He was optimistic of the situation being resolved in other not to attract wicked people or groups, who do not wish Nigerian well in the current situation.

“If it would have to take a Governor or the Inspector General of Police to resign for peace to prevail in Nigeria, why not? It is important that the peace is safe guarded. We saw what happened in Libya where their spontaneous anger and protest led to so many things; today it is a failed state”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

ECOWAS Commission President advocates for dialogue in addressing unrest in Nigeria

President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou has appealed to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the youth and civil society organizations to urgently use dialogue for early amicable resolution of the social unrest, and maintain the image of the country as a bastion of law and order.

According to him in an effort to address the demands of the protesting youth, the government should take a decision regarding the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), and ensure comprehensive police reform and investigate the cases of brutality.

In a statement signed by the Commission President, it noted that the ECOWAS Commission rocognise the rights of citizens to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and protest. However, those rights should be exercised in a non-violent manner.

“We call on the protesters to remain peaceful in the conduct of their demonstrations, as well as the Nigerian security operatives to exercise restrains in the handling of the protests and act professionally”.

Mr. Kassi Brou further expressed the Commission’s condolences to families and friends of those who lost their lives during the protests and wished the injured speedy recovery.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

MOPA to engage security agencies ahead of December 7, 2020 elections

The Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs (MOPA) would engage the security agencies on Monday, October 26, 2020 ahead of the December 7, 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections in Accra.

As MOPA seeks to support build confidence initiatives by the state and non-state actors towards a peaceful election and also encourage a broad national consensus relation between peace and national development.

Areas to be tackled include emerging security threats as election 2020 approaches, the preparedness of the security agencies to provide a safe and secured environment for the conduct of this year’s election, and elicit support of the security agencies, political parties and candidates in the conduct of peaceful, free, fair, transparent and accountable elections.

The engagement is on the theme, “2020 election and its implications for peace and security in Ghana”.

In an earlier interview with the Chief Director of the Ministry, Dr. Evans Aggrey-Darkoh pointed out that they are going to be busy engaging stakeholders in this year’s elections like the security agencies, Council of State and probably the media.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Majority leader advocates for MPs to be involved in selection of EC, deputy commissioners

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is advocating for Members of Parliament to be involved in the selection of the Electoral Commissioner, and the other supporting Commissioners.

According to him when the president makes a nomination prior to their approval, Parliament by two third majority should approve the EC and the other Commissioners.

He emphasised that, when that happens all the noises about the perceive biases of the EC and the other commissioners would not have a place to fester, as the issue of upholding the integrity of the EC and other commissioners must be protected.

Again, some people think the institution must be verified to prepare the minds of their followers of the outcome of elections they conduct.

Mr. Osei-Kyei was speaking at a forum organised by the Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), on the theme, “CSOs and democratic elections in Ghana: The 2020 elections in focus”.

Others have also suggested that selection of EC and the other Commissioners should be left in the hands of the Committee of Vice Chancellors to do that, adding that most of the issues that has brought tension leading to this year’s election has to do with the appointment process of those in charge of our elections.

He further noted that, the issues of ECs appointed did not happened today, or a day before yesterday.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Foreign Affairs Committee deploy team to investigate money laundry in Belgium

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Frank Annor Dompreh has said a delegation has been sent from the country’s legislature together with officials from the Sector Ministry to investigate the money laundering allegation leveled against the Ghanaian mission in Brussels.

According to him the ranking member on finance and member of the committee, Cassiel Ato Baah Forson representing the Minority and Issah Fuseini representing the Majority had proceeded to investigate the matter on behalf of the Committee and come up with a report.

He noted that it would assist the Committee to take a decision on the matter.

Mr. Dompreh who was speaking in an interview explained that the decision to select the two members for the investigation was based on their background and expertise in finance, and help the Committee to play its oversight responsibility properly.

The chairman further explained that he and his ranking, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa agreed to such a decision to be taken as they are going with some officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on the matter.

He further added that, Belgium is not just a nation, because that nation heads the European Union’s big banks and it is almost like the center of the EU and we have only the Mediterranean separating us in Africa.

Ghana’s Embassy in Belgium was ordered to close down its four accounts with its bankers, the ING Bank by November 12, 2020, following alleged financial malfeasance at the Embassy.

The order requires the Embassy to close all four accounts and open new ones in a different bank where all funds will be moved into.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

“AU and ECOWAS must address violation of human rights in Nigeria” —Dompreh

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Ghana’s Parliament, Frank Annoh-Dompreh has urged the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to show leadership by using mediation to help address the human rights violation in Nigeria.

According to him mediation is the way to go, as already the sub-region is contending with a security situation in Cote d’lvoire as well as election related issues in Guinea.

Mr. Dompreh further noted that political unrest in Nigeria, the largest West African country by population and economy, has the potential of affecting the entire sub-region.

He twitted that, “I am saddened and alarmed by the ongoing situation in Nigeria and condemn the killing of unarmed peaceful protesters by the police especially as these were the very ills being protested”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com