Ghana: We Won't Be an Obstructionist Minority - Haruna Iddrisu Assures

Ada — Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has assured that his side of the House would not be an obstruction to government business in Parliament.

Mr Iddrisu's assurance comes weeks after his caucus was accused by the Majority Group of harbouring obstructionist agenda to frustrate government business in the House.

"Let me assure the Ghanaian people that we are not and we do not intend to be an obstructionist minority. We will be constructive, we will be detailed, diligent and demand accountability where necessary," Mr Iddrisu declared.

Haruna Iddrisu, MP, Tamale South, made the statement in Ada on Saturday when addressing continuing lawmakers at the opening session of a three-day orientation and induction seminar for Members of Parliament.

The seminar was intended to enhance the capacity of the legislators in an era of evolving parliamentary practice amidst a myriad of emerging issues both in the national and international arena.

With the composition of the current parliament of 137 seats each for the governing New Patriotic Party and the opposition National Democratic Congress, and an independent Member, Haruna Iddrisu said co-operation and collaboration would be needed going forward.

"The nature of the eighth Parliament is unique. It comes with its own challenges and opportunities. It means that we have to navigate our governance processes with more tact and more understanding. Consensus and cooperation must become our working tools on issues that affect the Ghanaian people.

Taunting his colleague leader of the Majority Group, Haruna Iddrisu said "this is not a Parliament where you have the comfort to do it as you please. You cannot do as you please now because you will need our cooperation and support in order to be able to govern."

The quality of debate on the floor of parliament, however, he said would have to improve because same was deteriorating.

"Whether or not it is reflecting us as elected members of parliament or our lack of interest in what we do or lack of resources and support to do what we have to do, the quality of our debates, compared to other parliaments in my view needs an improvement," he observed.

Agreeing on the falling standards of debate in the House, the Deputy Leader of the Majority Group, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, said "we must do a lot more research, take advantage of the tools available to us, and build on our capacity."

On the need for cooperation, Mr Afenyo-Markin, MP, Effutu, said the notion that the Majority Group needed the cooperation of opposition MPs was misconceived.

"In this governance system, it is not about the NPP. It is about the country. Therefore working together as the people's representative is sine quo non mandate we should not, as it were, take it that it is your government and you need us. We need each other.

"We must not approach the object of consultation with a pre-determined agenda, that if you don't, I will hoodwink you. We must learn together and agree that the uniqueness of the eighth parliament is a clear opportunity for us to demonstrate to the world that as a people, we are tolerant and we will not be limited by partisan political views."

More From: Ghanaian Times

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