For the past two weeks, the government’s business has been on hold as the Minority members have always raised the issue of lack of quorum when decisions have to be made in the House, resulting in suspension of the sittings.
But on Tuesday, March 23, it took the bravery of Second Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe-Ghansah, to prevent another quorum fight in parliament after the minority again made an attempt to arrest a motion when a question was put before the House.
The motion was for the approval of a €20 million loan agreement between the Government of Ghana and the German Development Bank Group, Frankfurt am Main, to finance the Green Credit Line.
When the motion was put before the House on Tuesday, the MP for South Dayi Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor rose to draw the attention of the Speaker that the House did not have a quorum for decision making.
But the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu who was presiding as Speaker told the House that he had already informed the Clerk to make a headcount of people present before presenting the question before the house, adding that he had been informed that members of the House were about 138 in number.
Joe Wise indicated that the ‘ayes’ had it after voting and therefore the loan agreement was approved.
The process seemingly did not go down well for the minority as Dayi Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor stood up again to draw the attention of the Speaker whilst suggesting that the vote may be invalid considering the fact that quorum was not formed. He backed his arguments with Article 104 which indicates “Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, matters in Parliament shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present and voting, with at least half of all the members of Parliament present”.
Deputy Minority Chief Whip intervenes, calls for peace:
It was at this point that the Second Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe-Ghansah interjected and called for a suspension of the House for both parties to solve the issues before the House which have since been referenced to the Supreme Court ruling.
She said that there has not been peace in the house ever since Supreme Court gave a ruling.
She, therefore, advised the Speaker to adjourn sitting for both parties to meet to resolve the underlying issues that are affecting the business of the House.
House adjourned, shifts business focus after resumption:
When the House resumed, Dr. Forson, who was the available Leader on the Minority side, said that in line with the decisions that they had reached at the conference meeting, the agreement was that the House should continue with the business of the day.
He said the Clerk had made it clear to them at the Conference Meeting that they had the numbers; more than half representing the 138 required to form the quorum; saying “we have no problem, if indeed, that was the case, the evidence was shown to us.