No Date Yet For Amenfi West By-Election

Attendance on the first day of Parliament’s reopening from its longest recess yesterday was very encouraging as members on both sides turned up in their numbers.

Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho officially broke the news of the sudden demise of the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) for Amenfi West, John Gyetuah, to fellow Members of Parliament (MPs), after which a minute of silence was observed in his honour.

The speaker, however, did not announce any date for a possible by-election.

The speaker in his opening remarks to welcome MPs back from the long recess expressed grave concern about recent attacks and uncomplimentary public remarks about MPs, which he said has the potential to destroy the image of the legislature.

“These remarks are coming at a time when Parliament has rather opened its doors to the public so as to be even more responsive to the needs of the citizenry,” he said, stressing that MPs were highly disappointed at the recent public attacks on them.

He however appealed to MPs to see these recent developments as an invitation to undertake some introspection regarding the effectiveness of their engagements with the public and other stakeholders to avoid such attacks on the House in future.

Speaker Doe Adjaho used his welcoming address to remind MPs about the tight agenda ahead of them, especially with the consideration of the 2016 Budget and Financial Policy of Government as well as the Appropriation Bill and other important bills before the House.

He told the MPs to take attendance seriously because of the important things that would be discussed on the floor.

“Honourable Members, very soon some members on the Majority side will be contesting in their party’s primaries and I hope that the holding of the primaries will not negatively affect attendance in the House,” he noted and further appealed to members to be punctual.

The speaker expressed the hope that a new manual on code of conduct by MPs would help insulate members and the entire House from further public attacks.

He was however not happy with how Parliament is under-resourced, stressing, “I insist that the House should canvass for adequate resources to be made available to its committees to enable them discharge their oversight responsibilities devoid of any external influences, real or perceived, as a result of support from some Ministries, Departments and Agencies.”

The speaker announced the creation of the Office of Scrutiny in Parliament that will assist the House get independent and expert advice to assist committees in the discharge of their constitutional mandates.

He also announced immediate plans by Parliament to establish a Parliamentary Training Institute to help develop the capacity of MPs and staff of Parliament in the discharge of their duties.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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