Speaker of Parliament has expressed resentment at the “blatant” disregard of the authority of the House by some Ministers
The Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Edward Doe Adjaho, has warned ministers of state who refuse to honour invitations to the House to answer questions that the House will deal with them if they do not discontinue the practice.
The Speaker and Members of Parliament are livid with the Local Government Minister and his deputies for disrespecting the House.
The anger was in connection with the inability of the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and his two deputies to honour the invitation of the House to answer questions on the steps being taken to prevent floods in Accra and other regional capitals following the June 3, 2015 flood and fire disasters that claimed more than 150 lives.
The minister and his two deputies had, for the third time, failed to present themselves to answer questions by members.
Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, Majority Chief Whip indicated that as part of his duties, he communicated with the Deputy Ministers reminding them of their assignment in the House for which they assured him of their presence.
“I am personally disappointed by the behaviour of the Minister and his two deputies, especially when all of them are members of this House and know very well the rules of the Legislature.
“They have been informed adequately through the laid down procedures… I have given the deputies several reminders and even this morning I called them… I have been calling them for the past 40 minutes and they are not responding to my calls.
“They keep coming up with one excuse or the other for the Order Paper to be amended. They think Parliament should pander to their whims and caprices.”
The member for Manhyia South, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, said it was because of the attitude of some minsters of state towards Parliament that Ghanaians often ridiculed the House.
He said it was time Parliament exerted its authority and stopped pampering ministers.
The member for Sunyani West, Mr. Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, was of the opinion that it was time the Legislature exerted its influence and showed it was independent of the Executive.
"This House should for once bite these ministers to show that the House has powers,” he said.
The member for Sekondi, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, said it was unfortunate that some ministers who had been invited to answer questions were undermining the authority of Parliament, compelling the Speaker to invoke the powers of the House.
“The matter is even more serious when it is ministers who are also members of the House who are behaving like this,” he lamented, adding, “The President should tell his ministers to take matters seriously.”
The Minority Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the attitude of the ministers was an affront to the authority of Parliament.
“Their conduct is stalling the conduct of business in this House,” he said.
The Deputy Majority Leader, Alfred Agbesi, asked the Speaker to rule on the matter if the ministers did not attend to the House today as agreed.