The Majority in Parliament have sharply criticized their colleagues in the Minority for claiming publicly that parliament has been recalled to consider a motion to impeach President John Mahama.
According to Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin, who led a Majority press conference Wednesday, Thursday’s recall of the house has nothing to do with impeaching the President over a Ford Expedition gift he received from a contractor.
Bagbin explained that the recall had been occasioned by the Minority’s invocation of Article 112 (Clause 3) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and Standing Order 38(1) of the Standing Orders of Parliament.
He said a motion to the Speaker dated August 3, 2016 and signed by the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, which spells out the reason for the recall, only calls for the setting up of a special parliamentary committee to investigate the following:
- (a) Whether the President of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama received a Ford Expedition vehicle from a Burkinabe contractor
- (b) Whether the Ford Expedition vehicle received by the President infringes any law of Ghana
- (c) Whether the Ford Expedition vehicle donated to the President infringes his own code of conduct
- (d) Any other matter relevant to the above subject
Bagbin described as exceedingly strange, a claim by the Minority Leader that he was unaware of the recall of parliament when he was the very person who signed and filed the motion that formed the basis of the recall of the house on behalf of the Minority Caucus.
“Ladies and gentlemen, as can be noted from the motion, contrary to the claims being made by members of the Minority and their surrogates in the media, that this recall of parliament is to impeach His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama, nowhere in their motion is there the remotest suggestion of impeachment of the president.
“It is clear even to the uninitiated that this recall of parliament and the New Patriotic Party’s strategy that has heralded it, has been borne out of clear mischief, and a desperate attempt to throw as much dirt at President John Dramani Mahama ahead of the December 7th elections.”
Bagbin described the recall as a needless waste of scarce public funds and everybody’s time, saying while the president has publicly admitted receiving the car gift, the issue was already being investigated by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice and needed no replication by parliament.
“We wish to assure the good people of Ghana that this notwithstanding, we in the Majority will remain alive to our constitutional responsibilities. We assure all that this unnecessary and obvious distraction will soon be put behind us as we resolve to continue to support President Mahama’s vision of changing lives and transforming Ghana,” he said to cheers of “hear, hear” by members of the Majority.