The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has ruled that neither the NPP nor the NDC constitute a majority in the House. He however indicated that the NPP together with the independent MP for Fomena Andrew Asiamah Amoako form a majority group in the Parliament.
The question of which of the two parties should be regarded as the majority has been a matter of controversy since the declaration of the results of the last parliamentary elections.
According to the records submitted to the House by the EC, both the NPP and the NDC have 137 seats each.
With this, the speaker said none of the two is majority or minority.
There were wild jubilations from the NPP members of Parliament when the speaker declared that together with the Independent MP, they constitute the majority group.
These NPP MPs had gone into the chamber as early as 4 a.m. and occupied the right side of the speaker conventionally reserved for the majority. They have been battling out with the NDC over who has the right to be regarded as the majority.
Moments after the NPP jubilations, the leader of the NDC and MP for Tamale South Haruna Iddrisu rose on his feet to seek clarification from the speaker.
According to him, the concept of a majority group is alien in Parliament and wanted the speaker to explain himself.
The Speaker in his response reiterated that none of the two parties is a majority. He said since the NPP and an independent member are coming together, they constitute a group made up of 138 members, hence his reference to them as a majority group.
Irrespective of these rulings and explanations from the speaker, the two sides are still divided over their true state.
The NPP believes the speaker’s ruling puts the matter to rest and makes the NPP the majority. Its deputy leader and MP for Efutu Alexander Afenyo-Markin said with this, the NPP group has the right to lead in the formation and chairmanship of committees.
The NDC however disagrees. MP for Ketu North and deputy leader of the NDC, James Klutsey Avedzi says the speaker’s ruling means both parties are equal and every position in the house must be shared equally among them.
Currently, both parties are contesting some parliamentary seats in court. It is expected that the outcome of these court cases will increase the seats of one side, thereby reducing the numbers for the other. In that situation, there will be a clear majority and minority. For now, the debate over majority and minority rages.
By: Bubu Klinogo.