December 15, 2014

A former Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Joseph Yileh Chireh, has slammed the Electoral Commission (EC) for frustrating the work of Parliament.

The Wa Central Member of Parliament (MP) has also directed a healthy dose of his anger at Ministries, Departments and Agencies, which ,in his view, have equally been impeding the work of the House.

His comments follow a decision by the leadership of Parliament to cause MPs to sit on Saturday to allow for a crucial Constitutional Instrument laid before the House by the EC to become law after 21 sitting days in the legislature.

The MP believes Parliament has been compelled to sit on Saturday because the Electoral Commission and Central government has slacked in performing its duties.

“The issue is that every government and every nation must have a Parliamentary calendar which indicates government’s policies that are likely to come into Parliament, legislation on all the rest of the things, including this constitutional instrument.

“At the beginning of Parliament and at the beginning of the year, people should know that elections for the District Assemblies will be held so if now Parliament has to sit on Saturdays, I think that because we are not accounting for the time used, that is why some people relax, including Ministries and Electoral Commission,” Chireh stated.

He, therefore, called on the Speaker to assign responsibilities to every Parliamentarian in order to ensure that the political calendar is not distorted.

“Whatever organisation ought to bring a document before the House it should be brought at the appropriate time…That is why I’m calling on the Speaker and the leadership to let us begin to apportion responsibility to people because this is not acceptable …Otherwise, we are going to dislocate the political calendar.It is not fair.”

Earlier, Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin, explained the reason why the House must sit on Saturday after some MPs took issue with the decision to have the House to sit on Saturday.

According to him, “because Parliament needs a number of sitting days to have the legislative instrument come into effect, it has become compelling for Parliament to sit outside the normal working days.”