The Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo Markins, has served the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin with a throwback in a bid to wrest the contested majority status in the Hung Parliament of Ghana.
The Efutu MP reminded Bagbin, that several years ago when he [Bagbin] was the Majority leader, he had insisted that Samia Nkrumah who torn between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that she could sit on whichever side of the political aisle in Parliament as it did not matter, but which party she decided to do business with was important to give either the NDC and the NPP some advantage.
Afenyo Markins quotes Bagbin as saying, “sitting with is not the same as doing business with; sitting because of the concept we operate, one either sits at the right or the left and not being a party in government, naturally, she will sit with those in opposition. However, the issue is to do business with so that in the practical workings of the House, when they are sharing they will know where to place her interest.”
Afenyo Markin’s argument has become pertinent due to the fact that the Ghanaian Parliament is currently tied at 137 seats each for both the NDC and the NPP with no clear majority, and that the only person who could break the deadlock is the Independent Parliamentarian for the Fomena Constituency, Andrew Amoako Asiamah.
Amoako Asiamah has decided to do business with the NPP, therefore, Afenyo Markin is arguing that the NPP can be regarded as the majority in Parliament, arguing that Asiamah’s announcement that he will do business with the NPP means the NPP should be considered the majority.
By Afenyo Markin’s logic, the NPP has a strength of 138 MPs as against the NDC’s 137 owing to the Andrew Asiamah factor. However, the leader of the NDC, Haruna Iddrisu has reportedly spurned the argument.
The NDC has insisted that per the rules, an independent MP does not belong to any side of the divide.
This heated tussle for the Majority is informed by the fact that the Speaker Alban Bagbin and the Clerk of Parliament, Cyril Nsiah, are presiding over a stalemated meeting between the NPP and the NDC over which side should be named the Majority party.
A shrewd Afenyo Markins wrote to the Speaker this morning reminding him of his intervention when a similar issue arose in Parliament involving then MP for Jomoro, Samia Nkrumah.
The NDC has strongly insisted that the leadership of all the committees in Parliament be split between the two sides of the divide. However, the NPP has insisted that with the support of Asiamah it has the majority in Parliament and should therefore head all but two committees in Parliament.
Afenyo Markins, making a case for his party, the NPP also quotes Standing Order 7 in his letter and concluded: “Mr. Speaker, there are 275 seats in this august house and per the current numbers supplied by the Electoral Commission, the NPP has 137 seats and the NDC also has 137 seats, totalling 274; the remaining seat is occupied by Hon. Asiamah the Independent MP for Fomena.”
Meanwhile, the Fomena MP has been asked to communicate his decision to work with the NPP in writing.