Majority Leader
October 16, 2022

Majority Leader in Ghana’s Parliament said the country is struggling with numbers to make up the thirty per cent female representation as currently in Ghana’s Parliament there are fourteen percent which the country should not be happy about as reiterated by the Speaker Rt. Hon Alban Kingsford Bagbin at the 145th Assembly of the IPU in Rwanda Kigali.

According to him the highest representation Ghana has attained was twenty percent female representation in Parliament as most countries are unable to achieve thirty percent representation, during election unless they result to proportional representation. He however, questioned if it were enough to allow the president to appoint female representatives to positions to make up for the number, as suggested by some people. According to him, that certainly is not the best of system, adding that people result to that just to appease the system to have women represented in parliament?”

He further pointed out that in such cases, do they represent themselves or the people, is another matter because, “democracy is representational and not for individual and themselves within parliament?” He made this remarks on Thursday, in Rwanda Kigali when the Speaker of the Namibian Parliament paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament and added that various Committee’s in Ghana’s Parliament are trying to have women even as the numbers are not too much.

“We trying to have women in composing delegations, speaker would always say include a woman from your side of the House and the other side to IPU and other international parliamentary institution would want to see women representation otherwise we are denied some votes “. Again, per the standing orders Committees are not proactive because, if the speaker does not refer matters to them they cannot act on them.

“We are on recess now and the raining season is on in Ghana because of that there might be outbreak of cholera. Committee in parliament proactively cannot go out there to go and investigate it. We have to wait until parliament resumes and a statement made on that account of which the speaker would give a referral, certainly not good to strengthen parliament”. And submission of reports from the constitutional creatures as the Namibia Speaker mentioned, EC ombudsman, commission for human right and administrative justice parliament and the judiciary itself how do we receive their reports? “By our own arrangements reports of these bodies are submitted to parliament via the Majority Leader”.

Again, he is the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, “I do not do so in my capacity as Minister for Parliamentary Affairs but do so as Majority Leader, just so that the report that comes cannot be ducted by the Majority leader they are received by the clerk to parliament and the clerk through his deputies to the table office”. These reports have come for the avoidance of doubt, he should bring a copy to me then we take it to the business committee to prgramme for laying in the house then referred to the appropriate committees for consideration, and report back to the plenary but not through the office of the Speaker, and it’s the clerk who keep all records, mine is to bring it to the business committee to be programmed.

By the constitution parliament is not given that financial autonomy, it is the judiciary and the Auditor General that are given the financial autonomy not even the EC, “we think that the EC requires this, parliament as an arm of government just as the judiciary should have that financial autonomy”. And progress has been made. It started second term of former president John Kuffuor which has continued; we do not send our budget to the finance minister, but to the president directly, we have now passed an amendment act to that effect.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/