Minority Chief Whip says Speaker Alban Bagbin’s pronouncement that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Caucus and the Independent MP for Fomena Constituency constitute the majority group in Parliament will put the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at a disadvantage.
Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka who was speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story Friday, noted that the official announcement will now give the majority group the mandate to chair and have more numerical strength on all committees to the NDC.
This, according to him, will only encourage the winner-takes-all syndrome which the opposition sought to change in the 8th Parliament in order to serve as a check on the executive arm of government.
“The structure of our constitution and for that matter our country [is in such a way that] winner takes everything. So the moment you are majority, based on the current standing orders, you chair every committee with the exception of Subsidiary legislation and Public Accounts. And in all committees where there are odd numbers, the additional one comes to you [majority group].
“So we were hoping that with both parties having equal seats, we [NPP and NDC] would have had even numbers represented [on the various committees]. But now that they [NPP caucus and Independent candidate] have been declared majority, they will have more representation than the party [NDC] which has been declared minority [NDC] and that is where the problem is,” he stated.
His comments comes after the Speaker of Parliament, earlier today ruled that the NPP’s Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu is the Majority Leader whereas, the NDC’s Haruna Iddrisu is Minority Leader.
However, commenting on the Speaker’s ruling, Mr Muntaka said he disagreed with the declaration.
Explaining he said, “When you look at the definition of Majority, in our outstanding Order 7, it is explicitly states that it is the party or parties, it did not include the independent. But if our Outstanding Orders have not made provision for where you could add an independent, so maybe he is adding him, and therefore, calling them Majority group.
The Asawase MP said although the pronouncement could it will spark controversies, the NDC Caucus will accept the ruling of the Speaker.
“I can bet you that Speaker has made his ruling and we will respect it because he is clothed with the Standing Orders to do it.
“But that ruling will open up for other difficulties because when it comes to the numerical representation on Committees, we [NDC] are going to be heavily disadvantaged.”