The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin says the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Caucus and the Independent MP for Fomena Constituency constitute the majority group in Parliament.
This decision according to the Speaker is based on a formal letter by Andrews Asiamah Amoako, notifying him of his intention to do business with the NPP Caucus in Parliament.
“What we have now, you have the New Patriotic Party wing or caucus in Parliament together with the independent Member of Parliament from Fomena, and they now constitute the Majority group,” he said during the second sitting of the 8th Parliament, Friday.
The declaration by the Speaker brings an end to weeks of debate between the members of the two caucuses in Parliament on who can claim majority status.
With both the NPP and NDC having 137 members each, the NDC had argued that there will no longer be a majority or minority side.
The leader of the NDC Caucus, Haruna Iddrisu speaking at a press conference on Thursday, insisted that the Fomena MP joining the NPP Caucus does not give them 138 or majority numbers in the 8th Parliament.
Citing Article 97 Clause 1 of the 1992 constitution, which says ‘a Member of Parliament shall vacate his seat if he was elected as an independent candidate and joins a political party’ Mr. Iddrisu cautioned the Fomena MP that any attempt to join the NPP will be in breach of the article.
“We have heard that the Fomena MP, who is the only independent MP has written to the Speaker and I am quoting verbatim from his text that ‘I shall, for the purposes of transacting business in the House associate with the NPP.’ Get the words, he did not say ‘I am joining the NPP’.”
“He is not seeking to join the political party, therefore, nobody should do easy mathematics of 137 plus one. Because all the Fomena MP said was ‘I will cooperate and collaborate’ and that is different from joining,” he cautioned.
But addressing a counter-press conference, the leader of the NPP Caucus, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the backing of the Fomena MP gives his side an advantage.
According to him, as long as the Fomena MP maintains his position to sit with the NPP side of the House, the NPP will have more numbers than the NDC, hence, will be the majority in Parliament.