“It is our strong contention therefore that the Minister’s directive cannot be allowed to stand. Accordingly, we call on the Minister to retract that directive," the Minority in parliament has said.
The Minority in Parliament has threatened to sue the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Collins Dauda, for allegedly amending a portion of the standing orders for District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies (MMDAs).
According to the Minority, “The so-called amendment by the Minister to the standing orders of the assemblies to have a member elected to preside before the election of a substantive presiding member to approve of the budget of the assemblies, seeks to undermine and subvert the letter and spirit of Article 244 (2) of the 1992 constitution of the Republic Ghana.”
“The Minister is engaging himself in an unconstitutional and illegal venture by circumventing the constitutional requirement of two-thirds of all the members of an Assembly to elect a presiding Member,” the Minority added.
The amendment will enable an assembly to elect one of its members to preside over assembly meetings if the members are unable to elect a substantive presiding member.
The Minority has therefore called on the Minister to retract the directive.
“It is our strong contention therefore that the Minister’s directive cannot be allowed to stand. Accordingly, we call on the Minister to retract that directive. Any activity carried out by any assembly pursuant to the directive of the Minister, must be deemed to be void and of no effect. We also call on the assemblies to resist the illegality. We serve notice that every legitimate action will be taken to straighten up the Minister and the government.”
Collins Dauda has however explained that the amendment is to fill vacancies that might be created by the absence of presiding members.
“The modules I sought to amend remain standing orders. It is a guide and assemblies may adopt the module of standing orders. They can modify the standing orders depending on the circumstance, that is the way to go and that has to be adopted by the Assembly”.