Debates of 22 Feb 2013

MR SPEAKER
PRAYERS 11:05 a.m.

ANNOUNCEMENTS 11:05 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:05 a.m.
Hon Members, Com- munication from H. E. the President:
“19th February, 2013
THE HON SPEAKER 11:05 a.m.

OFFICE OF PARLIAMENT 11:05 a.m.

PARLIAMENT HOUSE 11:05 a.m.

ACCRA 11:05 a.m.

NOMINATION OF COUNCIL OF 11:05 a.m.

STATE MEMBERS 11:05 a.m.

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC 11:05 a.m.

Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I believe that in respect of these appoint- ments, Parliament, as an institution, has not had any formal process for taking action on this.
It is at this point that I wish, Mr Speaker, to refer the House to Order 172 (2) on the work of the Appointments Committee. It says, and with your permission, I beg to quote:
“It shall be the duty of the Committee to recommend to Parlia- ment for approval or otherwise persons nominated by the President for appointment as Ministers of State, Deputy Ministers, Members of the Council of State, … “(For emphasis).
So our Standing Orders, probably, I do not know, envisaged Parliament taking a position in respect of nominations by the President for membership of the Council of State. However, since I entered this Parliament in 1997, no formal process has been put in place.
I am just bringing this to the attention of the House, so that we, as it were, think about this particular Standing Order as we accede to Mr Speaker's request.
Mr Speaker, I am not asking for your direction, neither am I asking for any discussion. I am just drawing the attention of the House to this particular Standing Order.
Thank you very much.
Dr Benjamin Kunbuor 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, this matter has been taken note of.
I have had the opportunity to discuss with your goodself whether it is not time for us to begin to put some processes in place.
But the particular Standing Order that has been referred to by the Hon Member read together with the relevant article requires that we do a bit more of a closer reading and interpretation, taking both the Standing Orders and the Constitution together.
In situations where appointments are to be made with the advice of a particular institution, it is clear. In other situations, in which it has to be in relation to consultation , it becomes a bit dicey. Now, when you see the word “appointment” that has been used, where it goes together with “prior approval” then that puts us in a completely different category.
So, I am not sure we can use in an unmodified form the way Order 172 (2) is, to address this issue of the Council of State. But I guess it is an important matter
the Hon Member has raised, which the House can find time to consider.
Dr Matthew O. Prempeh 11:05 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it is not only with the “prior approval” that is a problem. The appointment of the Vice President, in case of an absence, was also one that confronted us recently and the Appointments Committee, which deals with that fashioned out a very nice modality for putting the Vice President through.
Mr Speaker, on the Council of State, we should not create the impression that the elected members are superior to the President's nominees. So, there is an understanding that for those that the President is nominating, who are not going through election, Parliament should fashion a way.
So, at the first meeting of the Appoint- ments Committee this year, from this side of the House, it was generally decided that we should fashion a way and bring all those people to us. But there is a difference between “prior approval” as the Hon Majority Leader said and construc- ting a pathway for us to follow --
Nevertheless, nobody says that it should not come. It should probably even come and Leadership then decides how we should go about that. But to hear of appointments not even coming through here, and persons being given certain positions, Mr Speaker, is very, very problematic, And as we are consolidating parliamentary democracy or democracy per se in the House, you will use your good office -- [Interruption] -- You will use the occasion to outline operations by which we go through.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
Having listened to the Hon Majority Leader and the Hon Papa Owusu- Ankomah, and mindful of the fact that Mr
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member for Nadowli- Kaleo; have I got it right?
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 11:15 a.m.
That is so, Mr Speaker and thank you very much.
Mr Speaker, we have been confronted with this matter a number of times. Definitely, we were aware of the Standing Order 172 (2) and also the fact that “prior approval” is not the same as “in consultation with”, and neither are they the same as “on the advice of”. We are aware of that. On a number of occasions, I can recollect twice, Mr Speaker was given the authority to consult with Leadership and convey the decision of the House to the President.

Sorry, I apologize profusely to my Father. I am not the Lord and I cannot determine when he should go. Sorry for that.

It is true that the letter of Order 172 (2) envisages that we put in place a clearer mechanism for giving the President an opportunity to consult. Now, the Presidents come out clearly to communicate to the House, the rules, expecting some reaction from the House and so, we have to come out clearly to do that. The Order says it should be our body known as the Appointments Committee.

We may mandate the Appointments Committee to iron out a different procedure of handling it, so that it is not as though we are trying to do a prior approval where it needs a public scrutiny.

So unless we want to differ from the letter and spirit, I must say, of Order 172 (2), I will also want to counsel that as we keep on improving our processes and procedures in the House and making our issues more clear to particularly the general public, we could call the Appointments Committee, summon them to a meeting and do a bit of talking there and come out and convey to His Excellency our consent.

Not consent in the sense of approval; no. It could be that we do not object or if we object, we can say it and the President can ignore whatever. As for consultations, he can even call here on phone even after he has announced it.

Consultation does not mean much -- [Interruption] --Yes. Consultation is consultation. You are not told -- [Interruption] -- Yes, consultation is consultation; that is all. We are not bound by it. I can just call you and say that, look, I am appointing these people as Members of the Council of State and that is it. I have consulted you.

Yes. I do not know why the Hon Minority Leader is shaking his head but I am saying that I can call him that I am appointing so and so as Members of the Council of State; period. I have consulted you.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, as we have all said, we are in uncharted waters and I believe that we need to be very circumspect in dealing with it. But clearly, I believe the former Majority Leader would agree with me that there is a world of difference between “information” and “consultation”.
Informing somebody does not mean consulting the person; it does not necessarily mean that. There is a world of difference between the two words.
Mr Speaker, but having said so, my thinking is that I believe we could by way of improving on our own processes and procedures, safely refer the matter to the Appointments Committee for some form of deliberations. Mr Speaker, then we would see how communication of the deliberation is then followed to engage the attention of this House.
Mr Speaker, I say so because our Orders provide that it shall be the duty of
the Committee to recommend to Parliament for approval or otherwise, persons nominated by the President for appointment.
Mr Speaker, we are talking about appointment; the President appointing certain people to certain positions. And indeed, that is the language of the Constitution in article 89 (2) --
“The Council of State shall consist of --
(a) the following persons appointed by the President in consultation with parliament --”
The operative word there again is “appointment”.
Mr Speaker, having said that, now, what we notice as captured in Order 172 is the definition of the work of the Appointments Committee. Mr Speaker, I may go further to draw attention to Order 192 (2), which provides --
“No instruction shall be given to a Committee to do that which it is already empowered to do . . . ”
The Appointments Committee is already empowered to do that business and does not need any further instructions.
So Mr Speaker, I will suggest that by way of improving our own processes and procedures, we could recommend -- we could refer same to the Appointments Committee.
As I said, we are certainly in an area which is very unfamiliar to all of us; I mean, it has not happened before. But if we admit to that, we can by way of doing this, further broaden the horizon of our democratic practice and engagement in this House.
Mr Speaker, thank you.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Members, the Hon Member who raised the issue did not call for a discussion. But I thought that it was a very important issue, that is why I would want to listen to a number of Hon Members on the matter.
Dr Kunbuor 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, why I did indicate that this matter would require a completely different occasion to be addressed is that these constitutional challenges have been there. If one goes and looks at matters that are referred to Parliament, one asks, what is “Parliament”? What we have is that -- they say any reference to the House means, Parliament. But what do we mean by “Parliament”? That also remains undefined by either the Constitution or the Standing Orders -- [Uproar] -- Wait!
So, there have been a lot of debates in relation to matters that are referred to the House and whether it is the House constituted in a particular way. I am saying this because if one sees the closest to this in the definition -- if one says it is a matter that is ordered by Parliament, they say it is deemed -- I think if one looks at the Interpretation section -- “Where the expression “leave of Parliament or House” or “order of Parliament or House” is said to import, it means a permission or agreement given by the majority of the Hon Members of Parliament.”
So, when one asks for a consultation with Parliament, the assumption is that Parliament is the House and the House would deal with that situation in terms of a majority. That is the closest that one can get to the inference that there should be a more formalised arrangement, at least, for the semblance of the House to deal with this matter.

But I guess, there are many more aspects of this issue that we would all need to go back and do some homework on to discussion.

So, I would, with Mr Speaker 's indulgence, say that, perhaps, let us for once follow the path that we have followed in this matter. How has Parliament been approving or how has Council of State membership been composed since 1993? So, there has been a process before. And I am saying that until we have concretised this matter, let us address this matter, perhaps, more closely in our Standing Orders and at a larger forum to give all Hon Members the opportunity to address this issue.

But I agree it is a very important issue that the House should address.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, thank you very much.
I have looked carefully at previous precedents. I looked at Standing Order 172 (2) and I looked at article 89 (2) (a) of our Constitution. I have decided to adopt the procedure adopted by the late Speaker Peter Ala Adjetey on this matter. What he did was to read the communication and ask that Hon Members who have any objection should get in touch with their Hon Leaders and inform him.
Instead of the Hon Leaders, I have decided that it should be the Clerk. We come and go and for the records to be there and to be kept, the only variation I have adopted to that of the late Speaker Ala Adjetey is to use the Clerk instead of the Hon Leaders.
Indeed, I must quickly add that I have already spoken to the Hon Majority Leader and Hon Minority Leader on this communication. I have shown the
communication to them. I have already discussed it with them. But I thought that when the Clerks-at- the -Table showed the previous precedent by late Speaker Ala Adjetey, I thought that I should communicate to Parliament. They used the word “Parliament” and therefore, I should communicate to Parliament as an institution and if any Hon Member has any issue with them, they tell me.
I must also say that my understanding of “consultation” is that consultation is not binding. If it is consultation, the consultation must be done. But if one does not do the consultation before the appointment, it is wrong. But one must do the consultation, which may not be binding.
If one looks at our Standing Orders, it uses the word “approval” and the Appointments Committee cannot go and approve when the Constitution used the word “consultation”. So, clearly, there is a problem with our own Standing Orders. This is because when the Appointments Committee goes and says that it does not recommend for approval, is the President bound by that recommendation or is the House bound by that recommendation? This is because they cannot approve; the House cannot say, we approve or not approve but the consultation must be done with the House before the appointment is made by the President.
So, I looked at the previous precedents. I have looked at the Standing Orders. I have looked at the Constitution. I have decided to use the Clerk to Parliament. This is because they keep records. I have learnt my lessons. When politicians are even consulted at times, they go back and say they were not consulted. So, I have decided to use the Clerk. So, if any Hon Member has any
objection, they should communicate it by the close of day on Monday to the Clerks' Office.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, first of all, I think it is about semantics. If one consults me on anything and my opinion is that, well, this is not a very good thing, it means that, I do not approve of this, but I am not bound by that?
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Absolutely, we are saying the same thing.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
So, splitting hairs over the use of the word “approval”, in my view, is neither here nor there.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
With approval, if you do not approve, the person cannot go ahead.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in this case, if it is a matter relating to consultation, I think that aspect of it, binding, imposing limitations on one, would not really register.
But having said that, Mr Speaker, we propose that if you stick to your suggestion -- and I think it is important that you referred it to the Clerk. This is because you said that he is the keeper of our records.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Absolutely.
MrKyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
When somebody mentions the notice of communication to him and tells him when it should be in Parliament and you advise that it must be here and the person then says that, “I have consulted you on that”, the word “consultation” could mean so many things, but it is only related to when it should come to Parliament.
But Mr Speaker, moving on, I would propose that because Parliament is adjourning today -- today is a weekend
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, do you have any objection to the names?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, are you consulting me? [Laughter.]
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Yes.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Then, you may not be bound by whatever I tell you. But I would think that, at least, Tuesday
-- 11:15 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Honestly, when I mentioned this to you about three days ago, I was thinking that you float the idea and bounce it off your Hon Colleagues in the Minority, just as I mentioned it to the Hon Majority Leader. But I believe that the proper thing is that the formal communication that I have just read before the House should be brought to the House's notice.
When do you suggest? Tuesday?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would suggest Tuesday.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Very well. There is no much difference between Monday and Tuesday; so, by the close of day on Tuesday.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah 11:15 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it seems the point that I have raised has generated a lot of interesting thoughts. But Mr Speaker, I must say that I did so -- I must confess, I think you have been placed in a most unique position to improve upon serious matters within this
institution and I feared that this was an opportunity that would enable us, moving forward, for you, together with the Leadership, to think about it.
Mr Speaker 11:15 a.m.
Hon Member, I agree entirely with you. In fact, we have proposed to look at the Standing Orders during the Easter recess and I believe that during that period, these are some of the matters we want to look at.
Thank you, very much, Hon Members.
We now move to correction of Votes and Proceedings.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT 11:35 a.m.

Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Members, we now move to Correction of the Votes and Proceedings.
Having not corrected them yesterday, we would start with that of Wednesday, 20th February, 2013.
Page 1 .... 9 --
Mr William O. Boafo 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 7, my name appears on paragraph 4, number 14 of page 7 as absent on Wednesday, but I was visibly present in the House. I even accosted you at the entrance of the tunnel to your Office.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Member, I saw you on Wednesday. The Clerk's Office to take note.
Mr Boafo 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, page 7, paragraph 6, I noticed that the Statement made by the Hon Adwoa Safo contained a very important suggestion, which is missing from the summary. She suggested that there would be the need for us to have a legislation to regulate waste manage- ment and related matters -- a legislation

like it was done in Brazil recently. That was a very significant portion of the Statement that she made and it is missing from the resume as provided by the Table.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Very well.
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, sorry to take you back to page 7. I was marked absent but even those who staged --
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Are you on Wednesday? What number? Paragraph 4, what number?
Alhaji Muntaka 11:35 a.m.
Sorry, Mr Speaker, it is even Thursday. I have that of Thursday. I thought you were on the Thursday.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Yesterday, we did not correct the Votes and Proceedings, so we are starting with that of Wednesday.

Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 20th February, 2013 as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Hon Members, we also have the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 21 st February, 2013 for correction.

Page 1 .....7 --
Alhaji Muntaka 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I do not know how anyone can mark me absent when yesterday I was loudly present. Even those who staged a walkout are marked present and those of us who stayed throughout are marked absent; I do not understand. I think the records must be corrected.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Table Office to take note.
Alhaji Amadu B. Sorogho 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, item number 6, page 7:
“The Rt. Hon. Speaker invited Leadership to accompany him to receive H.E. the President, Mr John Dramani Mahama and H.E. the Vice- President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur at the Central Lobby.”
And then immediately after that,
“Sitting suspended at 10.48 a.m..”, and, “Sitting resumed at 10.15 a.m.”
But without the Minority.
Mr Speaker, if we are reporting what happened, you invited Leadership and as Leadership, I saw the Hon Minority Leader and the Majority Leader accompanying you out but when they returned, the Minority Leader was not there. So we must report exactly what happened in this House. So, it should be “without the Minority” so that we can know exactly what happened, Mr Speaker. [Interruption.] That is exactly what happened.
Dr Anthony A. Osei 11:35 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Member of Parliament from Madina has been in this House for -- This is his third term and I know he knows the rules. [Interruption.] Very frequently, when he comes to the House and he walks out, do we say that he has absented himself? [Interruption.] I am asking him to tell the House. When he goes to use the washroom, do we say that he has absented himself? [Interruption.] So, he should be serious. [Uproar.] Mr Speaker, when he goes to the Ghana National Fire Service Board meetings, do we say that he has absented himself?
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.
Hon Members, the point that the Hon Member for Madina made is true but whether it should be captured in the Votes and Proceedings, is another matter.
Mr Speaker 11:35 a.m.


Hon Members, I believe that this is a matter more for the Hansard than the Votes and Proceedings.

Hon Members, we do not have a standard practice to deal with this. The rules are in my bosom and are under Order

6.

Hon Majority Leader, let me hear from you.
Dr Kunbuor 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, it goes that everyday we come across very novel situations that would require the Standing Orders to address. I remember in 2003, a similar matter came up and there was the issue whether our Standing Orders should not capture the processes under which Hon Members decide to withdraw or not to carry out every parliamentary process as a legitimate means of a complaint. This is because we know that even with the Labour Union, they have to serve notice that they are going on strike.
So we might have to look for processes in which we can capture the fact that at this particular state of proceedings, an Hon Member or a group of Hon Members have decided they would no more proceed. We

can capture these things in our Standing Orders so that we are all clear in our minds whether at any point in time, we are performing parliamentary duties, we are going slow or we are going fast.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members, the question I am posing to the House is whether there would be any record in the House that would capture it. If the Hansard will capture it, then we should end it here and make progress. [Interruption.] At times when you stand on your feet without even speaking, the Hansard captures it. So, when you walk out, why should the Hansard not capture it?
Hon Members, it is very, very impor- tant that these matters are documented. The reason it should be documented is that, if an MP is claiming privilege, that at a particular time, he was in the House or somebody wants to play an alibi that at a particular time, he was in the House during a certain period and I am supposed to certify that there should be a certain record to show that at that particular time that Hon Member was in this House or was not in this House. So there should be a record for it.
In my view, I am not bothered whether it is in the Votes and Proceedings or not but it is important that our records are properly captured.
Mrs Irene Naa Torshie Addo 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, thank you for noticing me.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Members, order!
I would not want to be dragged into the debate but fortunately, the Leader of the Minority at that time is in the House -- Hon Alban Bagbin.
Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, in February, 2007, the then Minority that I led for eight years boycotted the proceedings on the 8th of February in protest against the arrest, prosecution and conviction of a Colleague Member of Parliament, Hon Dan Abodakpi.
Mr Speaker, we did not attend and walked out. We did not attend the House and walked out. [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, we were very clear -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I think it is important that Hon Members listen first, get the opportunity by catching the eye of the Speaker, disagree with me and it is properly captured in the Hansard. This howling will not stop me putting across what happened that day. [Hear! Hear!] There is a vast difference between “boycott” and “walkout.” There is a vast difference. [Interruption.]
Mr Speaker, the time that His Excellency President John Agyekum Kufuor came to the House to deliver the Message on the State of the Nation on the 8th of February 2007, he was aware that the then Minority would not be on the floor of the House.
Mr Speaker, we took a boycott of the House for a number of days in strong protest to the fact that in parliamentary practice, there is a clear procedure of handling an allegation of criminal conduct of an Hon Member. There is a clear procedure and our objection was that those procedures were not followed, they were flouted and in complete contempt of Parliament.
The authority and dignity of this House are in this Mace and that is in the possession of the Speaker. There is a procedure -- All of us, all Hon Members seated here -- There is a procedure of doing that. That is the rationale behind
our boycott. That was the rationale behind the boycott and we still follow that.
My Hon Colleagues actually exercised a right. It is the right of a Member of Parliament to disagree on what is happening on the floor and to proceed to leave the Chamber of the House. That is a right and that was what they exercised yesterday.
Now, we are talking about how to capture what happened and therefore, there is no reference to 2007. I am aware of what happened that day and what happened yesterday; they are not the same.
Mr Speaker, the issue confronting us is that since that day, it was not captured in the Votes and Proceedings--It was not captured. There was nothing in the Votes and Proceedings that we were absent from the floor but it was in the Hansard. It was properly captured in the Hansard and it is the Hansard that captures all what happens on the floor of the House, not the Votes and Proceedings.
The Votes and Proceedings are just a summary of the main issues that take place on the floor of the House and I think that we should not try to add to what is already reflected on the Votes and Proceedings. We should allow that to be captured in the Hansard.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:45 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think that the simple question that you posed to us was on how the walkouts or boycotts were or are, or have to be captured. I am not too sure that you invited any Hon Member to offer a treatise in this House, rationalising what happened previously.
Mr Speaker 11:45 a.m.
Hon Member, it is in response to the issue raised by the Deputy Minority Whip, the Hon Member for Tema --
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the issue was how it was captured. It is a simple matter. But now that the former Hon Majority Leader has gone there, may I also offer some clarifications? [Interruptions.]
Mr Speaker, we were all in this House and what happened was that, a court of competent jurisdiction had tried a Member of this House, a citizen of this country and convicted him. Though some of us found it to be unfortunate, it was a ruling given by a court of competent jurisdiction. The case having been pending for close to two years, I cannot fathom a former Hon Majority Leader, a lawyer of some standing disputing this. [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, I am happy that in the course of his delivery, though -- [Interrup- tions.]
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order because I think my Colleague, the Hon Minority Leader is resulting to statements that are unbecoming. I specifically heard what the Hon Minority Deputy Chief Whip asked. If she had not mentioned the former Hon Minority Leader by name -- [Interruptions] -- Let me make my point of order. [Interruptions.]
Mr Speaker, if we can just listen to each other, if they had allowed me to finish, I would say that the former Hon Minority Leader's name was mentioned. This is because when she raised the issue, Mr Speaker said, fortunately, the Hon former Minority Leader was here. So, once he was mentioned, he had to respond. Whether he is a lawyer of any standing or not, I do not think as a senior Member of this House, he deserves to be treated in that language by a leader of the House. [Uproar.] At least, we can take very
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, the reference to his professional standing is improper --
Hon Members, please, Order!
The reference to his professional standing --
Hon Members, I am speaking.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would not have any difficulty, but if a former leader of this House, who also should know better, describes the intervention of his Colleagues as “howling” that is offensive and I thought you heard that as well. [Interruptions.] Mr Speaker, I would have no difficulty in withdrawing that one at all. Mr Speaker, I withdraw unreservedly to the Hon former Majority Leader and Hon former Minority Leader, who is a very good friend of mine.
But Mr Speaker, I also insist that his use of the words that “Members were howling” is offensive and unparliamen- tary and he must also withdraw that. Mr Speaker, I thought you heard that, and if you did not hear, I am telling you that those were the words that he also used. Mr Speaker, would you tell him to withdraw them and apologise? Mr Speaker, when he has done that, I would continue.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, you are a very senior Member, you are leading your side, and I have the greatest of respect for you. But you should know that even though the rules allow me to intervene to call people to order, it is not everything that every Member says on the floor that I would hear.
On this particular debate, I do not want to be involved, especially when the Hon Member for Tema West tried to invite me into it. That is why I do not want to be involved in the debate, the discussion on the floor and that is why I invited the Hon former Minority Leader to respond to the matter.
Hon Members, we should also know that because I was part of that leadership at that time, I do not want to call anybody to order suo moto. As a result, I called him. But nobody from your side raised an objection when the Hon Member used the words.
Hon Members, please, the rules of the House are clear; nobody should create the impression as if when the Hon Bagbin used those words, a point of order was raised and I did not rule on the matter.
The Hon Majority Leader took an objection to words you used and that is what I am ruling on. So, if you are saying -- and you also did not create the impression that because he used some words, that is why you are also using those words. You did not also create that impression.
Hon Members, I am just ruling on the point of order raised by the Hon Majority Leader. That is a separate point of order. If you also want to raise a point of order, you are entitled to do so on the floor of the House. But the two should be separate points of order. One does not depend on the other. They should be separate points of order and you are entitled to raise it. But it should not be linked to the other.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I saw my Hon Colleague when the Hon former Minority Leader, and former Majority Leader used those words which we thought were offensive. The Hon Deputy Minority Whip rose up on occasion, she was not noticed. If it is not to be taken, Mr Speaker, we move on. [Interruptions].
Mr Speaker, I have already reacted --
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Member, I said you should withdraw those words and apologise.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I thought you heard me. I thought you heard what I said.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
No! I heard you withdra- wing but did you apologize? I did not hear the apology. Please, Hon Members, I did not hear the apology.
Hon Members, we should not use the floor to attack the professional compe- tence of Colleague Members here. Hon Members --
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, with respect --
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
So, after that, you can come in with your point of order. After I have dealt with this one, you can also raise your point of order and I will deal with it.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I know that he is a lawyer of good standing. [Interruptions.] But “good” may not be “excellent”; that is why I said he is of some standing. That is the import of what I said. If it is considered offensive, Mr Speaker, I have already withdrawn that angle and I would apologise to my Hon Brother and Colleague. I so do now. But Mr Speaker --
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Now, if you want to raise your point of order, you can do so.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I think it is unbecoming of him to have also in reaction to some interventions said people were howling; and he turned his head to my side, the Minority. Mr Speaker, the imputation was clear and I think that was offensive and in the same vein, we take exception to it and he must also withdraw that and apologize to us.
Mr Bagbin 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I used the word “howling” because we know how proceedings are conducted in this House. Mr Speaker, we have to catch the eye of the Speaker before we make an intervention. Mr Speaker, we have interruptions -- Interruptions are there when we raise a point of order and Hon Members know how to raise a point of order. But Mr Speaker, when people shout and even use words like “shame”, and -- [Interruptions] -- The late Rt Hon Peter Ala Adjetey even ruled on the floor of this House that the use of the word “shame” is unparliamentary.
It is in the rulings of the House. Mr Speaker, I used the word “howling” in reference to the noise that was being made, particularly when we were taking a crescendo, and in fact, drowning the voice of those speaking on the floor. I used it to get my Hon Colleagues -- I did not refer to a particular Hon Member; I used it to get my Colleagues -- [Interruptions] - to be silent. It is to assist Mr Speaker, as a former leader, to bring order in the House.
But Mr Speaker, if my Hon Colleagues, as they have stated -- “if” because when he started, he said “if”. If my Colleagues take it in bad taste, I withdraw the word. But it is important that Hon Members get the message that this is a House of reason,

this is not a House of emotions -- [Hear! Hear!].
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree with my Hon Colleague that this, indeed, is a House of reason. It must be a House for reasoning as well; it must be a House for rationality -- [Hear! Hear!] -- Mr Speaker, I am happy, as I said, that the Hon Member for Nadowli-Kaleo has given distinction between “boycott” and “walkout.” I woud want to believe that my Hon Colleague, who is now into leadership, would understand the difference between “walkouts” and “boycotts” -- [Interruptions]. Mr Speaker -- [Interruptions] -- was notice given of the boycotts?
Mr Speaker, I am not sure any notice was given of that boycott; there was no formal notice served, that the then Minority was boycotting the House. It was captured, however, in the Hansard and the former President who was here on the 7th of February acknowledged that fact that they had chosen to boycott Parliament. Mr Speaker, so, the issue is about how it was captured. Our Votes and Proceedings do not provide for segmentation of the conduct of Hon Members.
That is, if we register ourselves and later walk out, it is not registered in the Votes and Proceedings. The appropriate place, as the Hon Member for Nadowli- Kaleo has indicated, is in the Hansard and I guess it would be captured as such. Indeed, Mr Speaker, we would want it to be appropriately captured in the Hansard. Mr Speaker, for emphasis, we would want it to be captured in the Hansard, that we were not at the inauguration and swearing- in of the President.
Mr Speaker, my worry, however, is that on that day, you were on the high table and yet when we came here, you asked - - “Minority Leader, were you there or were
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Minority Leader, did you walk out yesterday or not?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Verily, verily, we did-- [Interruptions] -- Mr Speaker, just for the avoidance of doubt--because I heard some castigation again from Members who are into leadership that there was no consultation at all.
Mr Speaker, for the records, there was consultation. Your goodself and the Hon Majority Leader would bear me out in this, that there was prior consultation. If notice was not passed on to a person in leadership, it tells the scant regard his own leadership, perhaps, might have for that person -- [Laughter] -- and that person should not go on any name castigating and “howling” -- withdrawn -- at the Minority Leader.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I guess that the Hon Minority Leader is so much stretched into other matters that respectfully, he should not be. Where leaders hold a discussion on a matter and it is intended that it should be communicated to all Members, that is normally done.
Where we hold our own consultations on matters that we think, on the spare of the moment, we need to take some decisions on and we agree at the leadership level, it should not be a basis to impugn the leadership style of one side on a matter that we think is not prudent to put out to all the Members -- [Interruptions] -- Wait, let me explain.
I do not think that it is proper in the process of that consultation between the Hon Minority Leader and Mr Speaker, to have brought all that to the floor and to the public -- [Interruptions] -- an Hon Member who goes public on a matter -- [Interruptions] --
Wait! I say listen to me.
The Hon Minority Leader's concern is about whether he went public. But his concern should not be that there was consultation and he was supposed to have been informed and he was not informed.
That is not the consultation or the discussion the Rt Hon Speaker, my good- self and the Hon Minority Leader held. To make us not slip into some of these things, this is a confidence, building game. If we have to build consensus, it does not mean that when leadership meets and discusses a matter, every member of the caucus should hear. Respectfully, let us not get it down that way.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I agree entirely with my Hon Colleague but it is a member of leadership, not any member -- Mr Speaker, that is the point of my concern. He went public and insulted us and he debunked that because maybe, that information was not known to him, and he went haywire. Mr Speaker, that is my worry. I know that it is part of confidence building; I do know.
Dr Kunbuor 11:55 a.m.
Mr Speaker, the issue I am actually taking here is that, I do not want us to go and import things that were said outside this House into matters. That is why I would want us to curtail the matter and deal with what is here. This is because Hon Members have said all sorts of things outside the floor and I do not think it is healthy to import all those things into this discussion. This is all that I am saying.
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
Hon Members, I am not taking any points on this matter. Hon Members, I refer you to Standing Order
Mr Speaker 11:55 a.m.
34 (1) and (2). Standing Order 34 (1), our attention has been drawn to it once but let me remind all Hon Members that --
“(1) The minutes of the proceedings of Parliament called Votes and Proceedings shall be a record of the attendance of Members at each sitting and all decisions of Parliament and shall be kept by the Clerk. The Votes and Proceedings shall be printed and shall be the Journals of the House.”
“(2) An Official Report, entitled Parliamentary Debates, containing the debates of each Sitting of the House which shall be as nearly as possible verbatim, shall be prepared under the authority of Mr Speaker. The Report shall be published in such form as Mr Speaker may direct, and a copy of it shall be sent to each Member as soon as practicable after the conclusion of each Sitting.”

Hon Members, I am not taking any further comment on this matter.

Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, 21st February, 2013, as corrected, are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Friday, 15th Febraury, 2013]
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Tuesday, 19th Febraury, 2013]
  • rose
    Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Members, Business Statement for the fifth week.
    Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources?
    Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am constrained to stand until you recognized me because --
    Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Member, I have ruled on the matter and you are therefore, out of order. If you want to challenge my ruling, Hon Member, you know what to do.
    Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not challenging your ruling; it has nothing to do with your ruling. Mr Speaker, it has everything to do with this House; I am not challenging your ruling.
    Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Member, if it is a Statement you would want to make, you have to clear it with me.
    Alhaji Fuseini 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is not a Statement; it is the interpretation of Orders 91, 92, and 93, which have got to do with the procedure of this House.
    Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Member, please, see me in my office.
    Hon Majority Leader.
    BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 12:15 p.m.

    Mr Speaker, the Committee accordingly submits its Report as follows 12:15 p.m.
    Arrangement of Business
    Question(s)
    Mr Speaker, the Business Committee has programmed the Minister for Roads and Highways to respond to two (2) Questions asked of him. The Minister for Roads and Highways is scheduled to attend upon the House on Wednesday, 27 th February 2013 to answer the Questions.
    Statements
    Mr Speaker, your goodself may admit Statements to be made in the House by Hon Members and Ministers of State.
    Bills, Papers and Reports
    Mr Speaker, Bills may be presented to the House for First Reading and those of urgent nature may be taken through the various stages in one day in accordance with Order 119. Papers and committee reports may also be presented to the House.
    Motions and Resolutions
    Mr Speaker, Motions may be debated and their consequential Resolutions, if any, taken during the week.
    JOINT CAUCUS MEETING 12:15 p.m.

    Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah (Okaikoi Central) 12:15 p.m.
    To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what measures the Ministry is putting in
    Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah (Okaikoi Central) 12:15 p.m.
    place to prevent accidents and also ensure adequate pedestrian safety on the George Walker Bush (N1) Highway.
    Question
    *1. Mr Kennedy Nyarko Osei (Akim Swedru): To ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what plans the Ministry has towards recons- tructing the Akim Swedru - Achiase Road.
    Statements
    Presentation of Papers --
    Motion --
    That this Honourable House thanks H.E. the President for the Message on the State of the Nation which he delivered to Parliament on Thursday, 21st February 2013.
    (Continuation of Debate)
    Committee sittings

    Statements

    Presentation of Papers --

    Motion--

    That this Honourable House thanks H.E. the President for the Message on the State of the Nation which he delivered to Parliament on Thursday, 21st February 2013.

    (Continuation of Debate)

    Committee sittings

    Statements

    Motions --

    That this Honourable House thanks H.E. the President for the Message on the State of the Nation which he delivered to Parliament on Thursday, 21st February, 2013.

    (Conclusion of Debate)

    Committee sittings
    Mr Murtala M. Ibrahim 12:15 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would want your guidance on something that I think is important for the whole House.
    My question has to do with the Urgent Question that would be asked by the Member of Parliament from the Minority side of the House. I would want to know that if the Minority side of the House says they do not recognise His Excellency the President as the President of the Republic of Ghana, even though they are well aware that he was elected and declared by the Electoral Commission, he was sworn in by no less a person than the Chief Justice, and he made appointments and they refused to be part of the vetting --
    Mr Speaker 12:15 p.m.
    Hon Member, we are on Business Statement, so go straight to your point.
    Mr M. M. Ibrahim 12:15 p.m.
    I would want your guidance, Mr Speaker. That is why I am asking.
    They refused to take part in the vetting. This is because they do not recognise His Excellency President John Drahamani Mahama as the President. I would want to know whether they have the right to ask that same Minister whose appointment they rejected by the very person who appointed him, whether they have any right to ask such a Minister any Question in this House?
    I would want your guidance, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, as this House is aware, your Appointments Committee has been working over the last few weeks and our Hon Colleagues from the other side have refused to participate in its work, insisting that they do not recognise the authority of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama.
    Mr Speaker, your Committee has worked so far without the support of our Hon Colleagues from the other side. We are therefore, extremely surprised that this House is being informed by the Hon Chairman of the Business Committee that Hon Members from the other side of the House would be seeking to ask a Question of the Hon Minister for Roads and Highways, whose vetting they refused to participate, they boycotted, they indicated that they do not recognise the President and his appointees.
    They do not recognise their authority and they would not participate in any action of these appointees. We, therefore, find it incongruous, illogical. We think that it is improper and for this House to be seen as serious by the good people of this country, we must be consistent, we must be principled in the way we conduct affairs in this House.
    So, Mr Speaker, we need your direction. We think that the path that our Hon Colleagues are leading us on is a path which can bring Parliament into disrepute and the citizens of this country would not take us seriously in the way we are pursuing our mandate that they have given to us.
    Your direction is respectfully needed.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, if it is on this matter, I would not take any comment again.
    Hon Members, the question is, whether the person posing the Question is a Member of Parliament. If the answer is yes, then the rules, Standing Orders in terms of admissibility of Questions come into play and that is precisely what I did. Once the person remains a Member of Parliament, he can pose Questions to any Hon Minister. I have to admit the Question and once it is consistent with the rules of the House, the Question will be admitted. Whether they did not take part in the public hearing and all those things, that is entirely a different matter.
    Hon Members, it is Business Statement. We are considering the Business Statement. Hon Member for Akwatia, Business Statement.
    Some Hon Members 12:25 p.m.
    Away! Away! [Uproar] Away! Away!
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Member for Akwatia —
    Baba Ahmed: Mr Speaker —
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Please, please, Hon Baba Jamal, please, resume your seat.
    The Hon Member asked me for my guidance and I have given my guidance on the matter.
    The point is that I admit Questions and I admit Questions from Members of Parliament. Once a person is a Member of Parliament and he or she poses a Question to a Minister, mine is to go to the rules of admissibility and find out whether they are consistent with our rules and I admit them.
    The Questions were brought to my office; I looked at the rules; I looked at our Standing Orders and I know the Questions are coming from a Member of this House and I accordingly admitted them.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not going on that matter.
    I would want to seek your guidance whether or not Hon Members shouting “Away! Away!” is proper language in this House? [Uproar.] Mr Speaker, if, in your wisdom, it is not proper language, then I would want you to order those Hon Members to stop and desist from using that type of language.
    Mr Isaac K. Asiamah 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have gone through the Business Statement for the week and then my concern is about the fact that — I would also want to seek your guidance on this very important matter.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Members, we are considering the Business Statement. I am not a member of the Business Committee. Let us consider the Business Statement.
    Mr I. K. Asiamah 12:25 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, my concern is that, is it allowed for a Member to import a strange thing into the discussion of a Business Statement and that two Members have been allowed to comment on that? I think it is unfair to a lot of us in this House. The Media will capture everything, and then we are not allowed to also contribute on the same matter? I think it is unfair. The Media are aware, people were here, it is in the public domain now. Allow us to also contribute to it, so that you can rule on it.
    Mr Speaker 12:25 p.m.
    Hon Member, I am supposed to maintain order in this House. When I see the way the House is going
    from both sides, which will degenerate into something else, I will have to call the House to order and stop any discussion on the matter, and that was what I did.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am happy that you are bringing us back on track to deal with matters relating to the Business Statement.
    I think it is important that we have fairness, as a Colleague just alluded to. A person, my Colleague in blue there, Hon Muntala raised an issue and asked for your ruling, and when we thought that you were going to rule on that, you admitted some further commentaries with the Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa, making serious allusions.
    Mr Speaker, you have indeed, brought him back on track, but first of all, it is important for him to know that the Select and Standing Committees of this House are committees of this House and not committees for Mr Speaker. It is important that he gets that. The second thing is, when he says that some behaviour is incongruous, illogical and unprincipled and so on.
    Mr Speaker, you yourself have said that you are the sole person responsible for admitting Questions and that is according to Standing Order 66 (1). Once Mr Speaker admits the Question, if anybody says that what has been done is incongruous, illogical, unprincipled, then he is questioning the conduct of Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, I think you would draw his attention to Order 93 (5), which should tell him and teach him that he cannot question the conduct of Mr Speaker.
    Having said so, Mr Speaker, the Business Statement has provided for Statements. The ensuing week would be the week for the budget. Mr Speaker, we would have a very short time to hear the budget and to consider it. As you do know,

    we normally require a minimum of about six weeks. But given the exigencies of the times, it may not be possible to do that.

    That is why I am suggesting that -- and I do know that you have several Statements with you; so, if you can clear them for us to have as many as possible.

    I am talking about the Statements, next week. I do know that many of them are coming from the new Members of Parliament who would want to break their stage fright. Thanks; I guess, the Hon Fritz Baffour, a man of theatre who knows what I mean by “stage fright” and people who may suffer from tongue-tiedness.

    Mr Speaker, so, I may want to appeal to you, that in particular, relating to the new Members of Parliament, if you can allow as many Statements as possible, beginning next week Tuesday before we have the budget. That is before maybe, the serious matter relating to the debate on the President's State of the Nation Address begins.

    Mr Speaker, I thank you.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Members, strictly on Business Statement.
    Mr Augustine C. Ntim 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is an observation I have made from the Business Statement and I am seeking your guidance on that.
    Mr Speaker, it relates to the (iii) Motion, that this House thanks H. E. the President for the Message on the State of the Nation which was delivered to this House. Mr Speaker, I am relating this to article 67of the Constitution and Order 58 of our Standing Orders, and if I may read article
    67:
    “The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before a dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a message on the state of the nation.”
    Mr Speaker, if I may quote Order 58 12:35 p.m.
    “Whenever the President delivers an address to the House Mr Speaker may convey to the president the gratitude of the House for the address.”
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, I have already done that. I did it yesterday.
    Mr Ntim 12:35 p.m.
    No! So, why here?
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, I do not know whether you want to re-invent the wheel. This is a standard practice not only in our Parliament but in other Parliaments. When the Queen delivers the Speech, they debate it and this is a standard that we have used over the years -- and it is a Motion anyway. That is all I can say for now.
    Mr Ntim 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker --[Interruption.]
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Yes, I think that it is in order.
    Mr Ntim 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that it is about time we had a second look --
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, you have made your point.
    Dr Kunbuor 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I guess that we need to make progress on this matter and the concern that has been raised by the Hon Member, I am sure can be handled ably by his Whips. I was happy to hear that this is the second term of the Hon Member in Parliament and if that is the case, he certainly would have experienced a Motion to thank H.E. the President before.
    Should he want us to create a novel situation in which he does not want that the House should thank the President, the proper procedure is to come with a counter Motion and that would be taken on board as the proper procedure. But to ask why the President has to be thanked, is not the proper way to handle a Motion of this nature, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Members, any other comment on the Business Statement?
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, on the Business Statement, item number 3, the reference is made to the possibility of a joint caucus meeting next week on matters of welfare. I believe last week we were told that this week, there would be a joint caucus meeting on this same subject. I do not know what has happened since I am not part of Leadership to get it postponed to next week.
    Next week, there is going to be a debate on the State of the Nation Address --
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, end it there.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am inviting the Majority Leader --
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, con- sultation was done between the Leadership in my Lobby to take it next week.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. But it may be useful for the rest of us to give us an idea which forced them to postpone it -- [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, if the answer is consultation, consultation, Members get worried.
    Mr Speaker, I have information which I do not want to disclose but if they could give us a reason, we would be satisfied. But they just come here and say we would see you next week. Mr Speaker, let us be fair to our Members. We are not saying that we do not agree, but if they offer some reasonable reason -- because given what I hear is going on, some of us would be willing to --
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Member, last Wednesday, the Clerk informed me that the House must adjourn early, so that they could prepare the place for the State of the Nation Address. So, there was no way they could have taken it that Wednesday and yesterday, we could not have taken it. It is true as the Hon Minority Leader rightly pointed out, today, we have a lot of engagements after here, so, we could not have taken it today too.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:35 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thought that I was inviting the Majority Leader but maybe, you have information that we do not have. So, if that is it, no problem.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 12:35 p.m.
    Hon Members, strictly on the Business Statement.
    Some Hon Members -- Yes!
    Mr Mahama Ayariga 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Motion has, as part of it, Wednesday, 27th February, two Questions to be asked of the Minister for Roads and Highways by Hon Patrick Yaw Boamah and Hon Kennedy Nyarko Osei. Mr Speaker, by Order --
    Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you questioning why we have Questions?
    Mr Ayariga 12:45 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker. I am yet to -- Mr Speaker, by Order 78 of our Standing Orders, it says,
    “Unless any Order otherwise provides, notice shall be given of any motion which it is proposed to make, except…”
    And (d) says --
    “a motion to amend a motion of which no notice is required. . .”
    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:45 p.m.
    On a point of order.
    Mr Speaker, I think the Hon Member is misleading the House. If you refer to Order 56 (1), what the Hon Majority Leader does is not by way of a Motion, it is a Statement.
    However, I believe that in practice, it is discussed and comments are made. It is not a Motion for which someone has to second, which will then require an Hon Member to make a Motion to amend it. Mr Speaker, for purpose of emphasis, I will read --
    “Every Friday the Chairman of the Business Committee shall make a statement in the House of the business arranged for the succeeding week. . .”
    (2.) “The Chairman of the Business Committee may make supple- mentary statements whenever the Committee so decides.”
    So, for the Hon Member to say that he is making a counter Motion for which a decision has to be taken, Mr Speaker, it will even be impliedly for instance, in respect of a Question being admitted by Mr Speaker, to ask the House to question the decision of Mr Speaker, which can only come by way of a Motion.
    That is my point of order.
    Dr Kunbuor 12:45 p.m.
    For the guidance of the House, I think it is significant that Mr Speaker guides us on this matter in terms of what we know to be the definition of a Motion in our Standing Orders. By Order 7 of our Standing Orders, a Motion means
    Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, I believe this is not a Motion so properly called. However, the House, in its own wisdom as a House, can make changes to the proposal coming from the Business Statement.
    Normally, a Motion properly so called, must be admitted by Mr Speaker. I did not admit the Business Statement, which
    Dr Kunbuor 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, that is why we wanted your guidance on this matter. Once there is no express procedure for changing the content of the Business Statement, Mr Speaker could extend the ruling to include the context and the mechanics for changing anything in the Business Statement not by way of a Motion.
    Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Member, if I have admitted a Question, it has been programmed by the Business Committee and the House now says that we do not want to take Questions -- that one, you should come by a substantive Motion -- [Interruption.]
    Mr Ayariga 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, let me come --
    Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    This aspect of the Business comes from the Speaker, so by questioning it -- because if I had not admitted the Question, it would not have been programmed by the Business Committee. So, you are questioning why I have admitted it or you are questioning why the Business Committee programmed it. Which one?
    Mr Ayariga 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker --
    Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, on a more serious note, can you prevent an Hon Member from asking a Question? Hon Members, please, let us go to the basics. Once an Hon Member follows the rules of the House, can somebody say that we are amending for the Member -- [Interruption] -- Please, we are here to perform an oversight responsibility. And in doing so, I would err on the side of Parliament.
    rose
    Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    Hon Members, I am not going to entertain any question on the Questions that I have admitted. If anybody thinks that the Questions that I have admitted are against the rules of the House, the person should use the rules of the House to question why I admitted those Questions.
    Mr Ayariga 12:45 p.m.
    Permit me, Mr Speaker, to seek your guidance on this matter --
    Mr Speaker 12:45 p.m.
    So far, you have been out of order.
    Mr Ayariga 12:45 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I started, then he came on a point of order -- the Hon Member for Sekondi -- Mr Speaker, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah came on a point of order. I assumed that after him, you will revert to me and even if I am withdrawing my Motion, then I can honourably withdraw the Motion --
    Mr Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Hon Minister for Information and Media Relations, withdraw your Motion.
    Mr Ayariga 12:55 p.m.
    Precisely, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, in withdrawing the Motion, let me recognise that in your ruling, you made a very fundamental statement that the Questions emanate from Mr Speaker. You admit the Questions and you present the Questions to the House.
    Mr Speaker, following from that, it is my suggestion that given that the proposal coming from the Hon Majority Leader, provides an opportunity for us to make proposal for changes and since we cannot make proposal for changes regarding Questions that you have admitted, my suggestion, Mr Speaker, is for you to give us some direction whether or not it would not be the best practice
    -- 12:55 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Hon Member, you are making a statement that -- all that you are saying is that you do not want an Hon Member of the House to ask a Question?
    Mr Ayariga 12:55 p.m.
    No, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Please, please. What you are saying, if I summarise what you are saying -- your point is that an Hon Member of this House should not ask Questions. This is because the import of your Motion would be to delete the Questions.
    Hon Members, I am not even going to admit it even if you bring that type of -- We are here to perform oversighting; to discharge our constitutional mandate.
    Hon Members, if you have a problem -- [Interruption.] Hon Members, I am not going to take any comment on the Business Statement again.
    All what you are saying -- if you know your rules very well, you can go to your rules and you would achieve the purpose you want to achieve. Go back to your rules; look at your rules very well and you would find something that would help you to achieve -- [Uproar.] But you are not -
    - 12:55 p.m.

    Papa Owusu-Ankomah 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is an observation that I wish to make and urge Hon Members to conform.

    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

    Mr Speaker, this is a matter I am bringing to the attention of the entire House, for all of us, and in these matters, it is the House that matters. In these matters, it is the House, not individuals and please, let us all try as much as possible to respect the Chair.
    Mr Bagbin 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I early on wanted to raise this point that even though it is early day yet, we urge you to apply the rules on order in the House.
    I know Hon Members need some time to learn and try to inculcate the culture of the House. But we need to also start drawing attention to the fact that without silence, it would be difficult for us to express our views and to be heard by the good people of Ghana that we are here to represent. So, I was compelled, for
    Mr Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Hon Members, we have completed considering the Business Statement of the House, except that I allowed the two other Hon Members because they are former Hon Leaders of the House.
    Hon Members, go and look at your Standing Orders and read very well the section or the chapter dealing with order in the House. I have been very, very careful not to use my powers. When you are Speaker, you have to be very, very careful; very, very careful because if I use some of my powers, it can ruin the political career of some of the Hon Members of Parliament here.
    I would not. But let us look at the rules and that is why when you were at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), when it came to the rules of procedure, I decided to be in attendance and no mean a person than a former Majority Leader and a Minority Leader of this House presented that topic.
    Hon Members, we have school children here in the Galleries looking at this. Those of you who are close to the Clerk, find out from him the comments that they pass about us at times when we go outside this House, about the way we conduct ourselves at times in the House.

    Hon Members, I thank you very much for your co-operation.
    Dr A. A. Osei 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, this is not a very controversial matter, but I think it is important to all of us.
    Mr Speaker, I have noticed lately that when Hon Members of Parliament are coming to do business in the House, and especially when there is a special occasion, we appear to be endangered.
    I do not see how if I am coming to Parliament, the Police have the audacity to prevent me from coming but allow other people who have no relationship with Parliament to drive in. I am coming to work and I am stopped. Of course, some of us because they know our faces, they let us come. Some of our Hon Leaders are prevented from driving in.
    Mr Speaker, I do not think Hon Members of Parliament should be treated that way and I would want to urge the Clerk -- This is because the Clerks were allowed to come. They are supposed to work for us; they are allowed to come because they are Clerks and we are Hon Members of Parliament and they stop us. They must come to work for us and they come in but I, who is coming to work -- How can they work for me when I am not here?
    Mr Speaker, the people at the gate must be talked to. It is not fair.
    Mr Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Hon Member, it is a very legitimate point you have raised and I think that all of us have experienced it at one point or the other. This matter, we have discussed it at one time or the other and I think we may have to take a second look again at it, when we have ceremonial functions in this House.
    Hon Majority Leader --
    Dr Kunbuor 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, we have listened to the two former Hon Leaders of this House and I guess that before I move
    the Motion for an adjournment, I should also draw attention to what I have observed.
    I have taken the trouble to go over the official records for quite some time now and I am not sure most of our new Hon Members would learn very much. This is because nowhere have I seen, except on two or three occasions, where an Hon Member has risen on a point of order with particular reference to any Order. And where we rise on a point of order in a very disorderly manner, then we are not keeping faith with the Standing Orders.
    I would like Mr Speaker's guidance just for the sake of those who would want to learn that we should, for the senior Hon Members here who rise on a point of order, should refer specifically to the particular point of order which can guide even Mr Speaker in his ruling. Quite often, Mr Speaker rules on a point of order when the Hon Member has not referred to any Order and so, we do not know whether the Hon Member on his feet was indeed, out of order.
    We have had very rich debates in this House. I still go back to 2003 and 2004 and I look back at the nature of the proceedings just to guide us and I thought we had had such a rich experience and all we can do with the Sixth Parliament is to enrich and add to that particular tradition that we have come to meet.
    Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would --
    Mr Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Hon Member, we have Commencement of Public Business -- Presentation of Papers.
    Dr Kunbuor 12:55 p.m.
    Sorry, Mr Speaker. Let us take item number 5 on the Order Paper. This is because I was to have a discussion with the Hon Minister on the matter. That is why -- But we can take item number 5.
    Mr Speaker 12:55 p.m.
    Very well.
    PAPERS 12:55 p.m.

    Dr Benjamin B. Kunbuor 12:55 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this House do now adjourn to Tuesday, 26th February, 2013, at 10.00 a. m.
    Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion, may I just add a bit to what the Hon Majority Leader has said? I think it may be important to perhaps, have another version of this induction workshop that we had. I think it has done some good, but it is important if we have the necessary resources to make space and time available in the course of this Session to have a second engagement with ourselves.
    Mr Speaker, having said that, I think the first issue that he raised takes us back to the issue of a person catching your eye.
    A person catches your eye, you call the person and Mr Speaker is ultimately responsible for keeping order in the House. If the person is acting tangentially, the Speaker will have to bring that person to order. If the Speaker allows the person to wax on and on, then it perhaps, may mean that the Speaker is enjoying the debate.
    So, I would plead with you, that --
    Mr Speaker 1:05 p.m.
    Hon Minority Leader, can you leave me out of this?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:05 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would do so. But I think it is important that maybe, we have this second engagement.
    Mr Speaker, on that note, I beg to second the Motion, if I heard rightly for adjournment. If it is for adjournment, I will second it. If it is for any other thing that I do not know of, I may not want to second. Mr Speaker, if it is for adjournment, I beg to second the Motion for adjournment.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:05 p.m.

  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 1.10 p.m. till Tuesday, 26th February, 2013 at 10.00 a.m.