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Protect Ghanaian family values – Bagbin urges traditional authorities

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban S. K. Bagbin has reaffirmed his unwavering support for the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill unanimously passed by parliament.

According to his aid Peter Bamfo at the 2024 Suma Akwantu Kesie Festival in Suma in the Bono Region,he noted that the passage of the bill marked a triumph of the country’s democratic principles and a reaffirmation of its commitment to upholding traditional values.

He, therefore, called on the traditional leaders to continue their advocacy for the preservation of the country’s true values.

He commended the Suma Traditional Council for its visionary leadership in reimagining the festival as a catalyst for development in the traditional area.

He also praised the Council for the initiative to establish an ultramodern social centre in honour of the late Nana Kwadwo Adinkra, who invented the Adinkra symbols.

“The Adinkra Center will serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity, providing invaluable resources for youth training, cultural education, and socio-economic empowerment,” Speaker Bagbin said.

The Speaker also called on the people of Suma to rally behind their leaders to ensure the development of the area.


The true story about the current dumsor out… Hon John Jinapor writes.

So, all this while, the so-called maintenance of transformers put out by this unrepentant Akuffo-Addo/Bawumia government, as being the cause of the current Dumsor was nothing but a fabricated and concocted story to cover up for their incompetence and wickedness.

Finally the cat is out of the bag, as the Public Utilities Workers Union succinctly puts it that ECG has over 33,000 transformers. So that, even there is ongoing maintenance of 630 transformers, that cannot be the reason for the massive load shedding (Dumsor) being experienced across the country.

The truth is the Government is broke and cannot procure fuel/gas for our thermal plants leading to a shortfall in generation capacity. There is nothing prior, in or subsequent to this reason that ever explain away the reality.

This Cock and Bull story must give way to serious business. The government must be humble enough to admit the avoidable liquidity challenges in the energy sector.

Thank you PUWU of TUC for exhibiting courage and patriotism in speaking truth to power.


Effutu MP commissions six-unit classroom block; donates 400 furniture to Winneba NVTI

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Makin has commissioned a six-unit classroom bloc at Winneba Senior High School in his constituency.

It was named after the former headmistress of the school Mrs. Comfort Oti-Akenteng.

In addition to this, he donated 300 classroom furniture and an ultramodern risograph machine to the school.
Meanwhile he has in addition donated four hundred (400) furniture to the National Vocational Technical Institute (NVTI) of Winneba.


Blame Dr. Bawumia for high tax regime not GRA workers—Minority

The Minority in Ghana’s Parliament has taken a swipe at the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for the high tax regime in Ghana and pointed out that workers of the Ghana Revenue Authority should not be blamed as they are only preforming their statutory duties.

According to a statement sign by the Minority Leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson it is the Akufo-Addo/ Bawumia government that had imposed a lot of taxes on business and Ghanaians, so GRA should not be singled out.

“The government’s huge appetite for taxes has created a high tax regime which has made the country unattractive for doing business. It is therefore not surprising that many businesses in Ghana are relocating to other countries in the West African sub-region.”

They further added that, this spells doom and gloom for Ghanaian employees as jobs which would have otherwise been filled by them get exported as a consequence of the relocation of businesses from the country.

“Instead of blaming GRA workers, Alhaji Bawumia should take responsibility for the regressive and crippling taxes that his government has imposed on his watch as the Chairman of the government’s Economic Management Team. It is hypocritical and deceptive on the part of Alhaji Bawumia; the key architect of the government’s economic policies, to blame innocent GRA workers for the fallouts of a high tax regime after his government has sponsored, motivated and marshaled the numbers of the Majority Caucus in Parliament to fight tooth and nail to pass regressive, punitive, draconian and insensitive taxes.”

Again, it is absurd that Alhaji Bawumia, who approves economic policies including tax proposals at meetings of the Economic Management Team as well as justifies them at Cabinet meetings, has turned round to blame workers of GRA for the country’s high tax regime.

It was precisely because of the adverse impact of these taxes on businesses and the people that the NDC Minority Caucus in Parliament resisted the draconian taxes and voted as a bloc against them.

Already, we have served notice that the NDC Minority Caucus will bring a Private Member’s Bill to remove e-levy, emission tax and betting tax, the Minority stated.

According to the Minority, the government has finally agreed with them to abolish these taxes; except that while Dr Bawumia wants that done in the future, the NDC Minority Caucus wants the removal of the taxes now, they emphasized.


Apaak commends Teacher Unions for giving listening ear to the NLC

Dr. Clement Apaak, Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament has lauded the various pre-tertiary teacher unions for giving listening ears to the National Labour Commission (NLC) reading their strike.

According to him, it is a good signal that the Teacher Unions have agreed to convey the outcome of their dialogue with the Ministry of Education to their members, adding that this gives a ray of hope that we could be seeing a resolution of the reasons that precipitated their strike action.

The Deputy Ranking Member speaking on TV3’s New Day program on Wednesday opined that teachers by nature would have to be pushed beyond what they can tolerate to decide to lay down their tools, “and so when teachers decide to take the kind of action that the teacher unions in the pre-tertiary educational sector took, it was because they didn’t find avenues and they didn’t get the needed audience as they said in terms of the employer engaging with them and giving them serious assurances in terms of addressing their grievances”.

Three pre-tertiary teacher unions, including the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana (CCT-GH) laid down their tools indefinitely on March 20th demanding from the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) better condition of service.

They demanded among other things:
1) that the Ministry and for that matter the Ghana Education Service release the laptops for which 30 percent of the cost have been deducted from their salary be given to about a 100 thousand of their colleagues who are yet to receive theirs.

2) again issues about a lack of a service scheme interns of a document that will lay out the rules and regulations or guidelines about their movements within the parameters, in terms of moving from one level to another , how appointments are made and what to expect.

These relieves the deputy Ranking Member said are legitimate, adding that he is even ashamed that his committee (Educational Committee) has not been forceful in holding duty bearers accountable as far as the Educational sector is concerned.

Meanwhile, the National Labour Commission (NLC) has directed the Teacher Unions to return to the classroom and subject themselves to the negotiation table with the relevant institutions.


Minority lampoons Majority’s sabotage claims

The Minority Caucus in Parliament has described as bizarre and unfortunate the Majority Caucus’ claim against the Speaker, RT. Hon. Alban Bagbin of arbitrariness and falsely claiming that the Speaker and the Minority Caucus are sabotaging so-called government business.

The Minority said the Majority Caucus has only fallen on its own dagger in Parliament on Wednesday; stating that “the Majority Caucus is engaged in deliberate distortions and grand propaganda to whip up public sentiments against the Rt. Hon. Speaker and the Minority Caucus with these claims.

According to the Minority, in a statement issued on Thursday March 21, 2024, on Wednesday, there was no tax waiver business before the House, and that the claim by the Majority Caucus is false. “Clearly, they intended smuggling the tax waivers into the last-minute business of the House. In its present form, we are opposed to these tax waivers. We have stated our opposition on these waivers time without number. They are tainted with corruption and designed to siphon state resources into private pockets.”

The Speaker on Wednesday, suspended the approval of the President’s Ministerial nominees citing an interlocutory injunction filed by Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, Member of Parliament for South Dayi which prevents parliament from carrying on with the approval process until the determination of the case by the Supreme Court.

The Speaker said his decision was based on the precedence set by the President in which the President wrote to the Clark of Parliament urging him not to transmit the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill 2021 passed by Parliament to the President to assent to until two injunction cases at the Supreme Court are determined.

But the Majority Caucus would have none of this and accused the Speaker and the Minority of sabotaging government business.

The Majority Leader in a statement noted that the President is entitled to respect the legal injunctions pending before the Supreme Court; and that the presidency’s stance does not undermine Parliament’s authority.

The Executive Secretary to the President on March 18, 2024 wrote to the Clark of parliament to cease and desist from transmitting the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill 2024 to the President for assent until the matters before the Supreme Court are resolved.

This has brought some level of tension between the two arms of government.

The Speaker in an official statement to the House also expressed regret concerning the conduct displayed by the Presidency following Parliament’s successful unanimous passage of the Human Sexual Values Bill, 2021; adding that the behaviour exhibited by the Presidency in refusing to accept the transmission of this bill not only deviates from established democratic practices but also undermines the spirit of cooperative governance and mutual respect for the arms of government.

“This is a principle that forms the cornerstone of our political system. Such actions, if left unchecked, risk setting dangerous precedents that threaten the integrity and functionality of our democratic institutions”, the Speaker stated.

The Speaker disclosed that a disturbing pattern seems to be emerging from the Executive branch, which points to a concerning disregard for the foundational principles enshrined in the Constitution, 1992, citing President’s refusal to assent to three critical bills that had been duly passed via as a Private Members’ Bill.


Majority Leader accuses Minority of sabotage with their ‘see no evil, say no evil’ attitude

Leader of Government Business in Ghana’s Parliament, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin has taken a swipe at the Minority in Parliament in their attitude of ‘see no evil, say no evil’.

The Majority Leader was not happy that the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin adjourned the House sine die without giving leadership of both sides the opportunity to speak after he raised a disagreement on a letter emanating from the presidency on the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill passed by the House which seeks to prevent the Clerk of Parliament from submitting the Bill to the President for his assent until the determination of a case at the Supreme Case.

According to him the conduct of the Minority leaves a lot of questions not answered as to whether they were aware of the action the Speaker was going to take on the floor of the House on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

“Again, is it the case that, they are in support of this action to disrupt government business? They should remember that the people of Ghana are watching, we have ministers who are supposed to manage ministries and conduct public business for the benefit of the people of Ghana; what the Minority has done today shows they are not on the side of democracy”

Addressing members of the Parliamentary Press Corps on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 just after adjournment, he pointed out that the Minority want government business to come to a halt through their conduct. “They were not even ready to get us to engage Mr. Speaker but they were ready to pack and move into their cars and go home. Obviously, it is a political journey they are on; they want to explore the situation to their advantage. We believe that the good people of Ghana would know that we as NPP in government stand for the betterment, progress and development in government”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Speaker hangs approval of new ministerial appointees

In a rather unexpected response from parliament, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has served notice parliament would not be able to consider the approval of the new ministerial appointees.

According to the Speaker a law suit has been filed against the Speaker and parliament. And taking cue from the precedent set by the president, parliament is an able to act until the determination of the case.

“Be that as it may, Hon Members, I also bring to your attention, the receipt of a process from the Courts titled Rockson-Nelson Etse K. Dafeamekpor vrs. The Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney -General (Suit no. J1/12/2024) which process was served on the 19th of March 2024 and an injunction motion on notice seeking to restrain the Speaker from proceeding with the vetting and approval of the names of the persons submitted by His Excellency the President until the provisions of the constitution are satisfied.

Hon. Members in the light of this process, the House is unable to continue to consider the nominations of His Excellency the President in the “spirit of upholding the rule of law “until after the determination of the application for interlocutory injunction by the Supreme Court.”

In a formal statement on the floor of the House, the Speaker expressed his profound regret concerning the conduct displayed by the Presidency following Parliament’s successful unanimous passage of the Human Sexual Values Bill, 2021.

He said the behaviour exhibited by the Presidency in refusing to accept the transmission of this bill not only deviates from established democratic practices but also undermines the spirit of cooperative governance and mutual respect for the arms of government.

“This is a principle that forms the cornerstone of our political system. Such actions, if left unchecked, risk setting dangerous precedents that threaten the integrity and functionality of our democratic institutions.”

Citing a disturbing pattern emerging from the Executive branch, which points to a concerning disregard for the foundational principles enshrined in the Constitution, 1992, he said the President’s recent refusal to accept the transmission of the Human Sexual Values Bill adds to similar action when the president refused to exercise same “to three critical bills that had been duly passed via as a Private Members’ Bill.

He indicated that he had course to speak about the president’s refusal to assent to bills; and “underscored the troubling nature of the President’s justifications for his actions, or rather, the lack thereof, particularly highlighting that his failure to assent on grounds of alleged unconstitutionality, paradoxically stood in violation of the very constitution he invoked.”

Letter From The Office Of The Secretary To Parliament On 18 March, 2024, the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, issued a letter to the Clerk to Parliament directing him to cease and desist from submitting the Human Sexual Values Bill, 2021 to the President until the matters before the Supreme Courts are resolved.

The Executive Secretary in the said letter noted that the Office of the President was aware of two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction seeking to restrain the Clerk and Parliament from transmitting the Bill to the President.

And that the Attorney General had on 18 March 2024 informed the President that he had received the two applications and had advised the President not to take any step in relation to the Bill until matters raised by the suit are determined by the Supreme Court. As a result, the Presidency conveyed to the Clerk that it was unable to accept transmission of the Bill.


“Majority disagrees with the position taken by Speaker Bagbin”—Majority Leader

Majority Leader Alexander Kwamena Afenyo said his side disagrees with the position taken by Rt. Hon Speaker Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin that the president is undermining democracy by not assenting to a bill passed by Parliament and making reference to a Supreme Court case on the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill and should have resorted to the constitution in making certain communications.

According to him in the letter sent to the House the president limited himself to the process before the court and the fact that parliament itself has filed an affidavit in opposition and is in court.

“In fact parliament is a party to the suit; for us we do not see how this would have to affect the proceedings of parliament. In any event, the Speaker should have referred issues to the leadership of the House to guide him in the conduct of business this morning”.

The leadership of the House sat together to discuss the various items to be taken, we were done with some and some that we were supposed to take; we were told that the Speaker would have to take the chair. It is very disappointing that after the Speaker has made known his own views about the letter from the presidency to the clerk, he adjourned the House sine die without given room to the leadership of the House to even comment, he lamented.

In addition, we find this very strange, this is a democracy as he himself has said that this impasse call for reflection, I would play that out to the Speaker himself that we all need to reflect on going forward as a nation.

Again, he said he was not going into the matter as this would undermine same but we all know that the very issue that was raised by Dafeamekpor had to do with the continuing ministers who have been reshuffled to other ministries, the issue of constitutionality of certain nominees has been determined by the going vetting process.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Anti-LGBTQ Bill: Secretary to President’s letter to parliament, a monumental threat to the House and democracy—Haruna

The Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu has accused the Office of the President of hindering the work of Parliament.

This follows an official letter to Parliament, requesting the House to refrain from transmitting the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, commonly referred to as the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill, to President Akufo-Addo for his assent.

Addressing members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, Mr. Iddrisu stressed that the letter, which seeks to prevent Parliament from performing its duties, reflects President Akufo-Addo’s “quest for predominance” over other organs of state including the legislature.

“That is unacceptable and must be fought by all persons who love democracy and cherish the principles and values of the 1992 Constitution. This is a monumental threat to Ghana’s democracy and a monumental threat to Parliament as an institution. By Article 93 we are clothed with legislative authority and mandate,” he said.

The former Minority Leader also called for the letter signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, to be disregarded for failing to follow Parliament’s standing orders.

“Politically, what power does the President’s secretary have writing to the Clerk of Parliament and not the President himself writing directly to the Speaker as is required of our Standing Orders, so that officially it can be read as communication from the President?” Mr Iddrisu asked.

So ideally this paper means nothing and should be ignored by the Clerk because the President must sign communication to Parliament addressed to the Speaker, he noted.

On Monday, March 18, a letter addressed to Parliament and signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, had requested Parliament to refrain from sending the anti-gay bill to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his assent.

The decision, according to Nana Bediatuo Asante, stems from the acknowledgment of two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction before the Supreme Court.

The letter emphasized that it would be improper for Parliament to proceed with transmitting the Bill to President Akufo-Addo for any action until the matters before the court are addressed.

Furthermore, it was disclosed that the Attorney-General has advised the President against taking any action regarding the Bill until the issues raised in the legal suits are resolved by the Supreme Court.

However, the Tamale South MP insists that an attempt to seek an injunction to prevent the passing of the bill is not the same thing as an injunction granted.

“But more importantly, Parliament cannot be injuncted not to perform its lawful function as the legislature of Ghana,” he explained.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com