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Showdown In Parliament As Majority And Minority Debate Ford Expedition Gift To President Mahama

A major showdown is expected in Parliament today when the Majority and the Minority sides lock horns over the Ford Expedition vehicle that was donated to President John Dramani Mahama as a gift by a Burkinabe contractor.

Already, the media scene and the public domain are awash with speculations that impeachment proceedings will be initiated against the President of the Republic.

However, the Majority Caucus in Parliament, at a press conference addressed by its leader, Mr Alban Bagbin, in Accra yesterday described the Minority’s linkage of the recall of Parliament to moves to impeach President Mahama as “deliberately misleading”.

It said contrary to information being peddled in the public domain about impeachment moves against the President, the Minority had only submitted a motion asking Parliament to investigate the Ford vehicle donated to the President by a Burkinabe contractor.

The Majority said in view of the same case being investigated by a constitutionally mandated body, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the recall of Parliament amounted to “a waste of resources and time”.

Minority reaction

But the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, in a reaction, said: “If the President does anything that brings the Presidency into disrepute, Parliament can use the right processes to seek his removal from office. Nothing prevents Parliament from carrying out the investigation, even if a different body is already doing so. In any case, Parliament did not petition CHRAJ to probe the issue,” he said.

He added that the move by the Minority was not a waste of time and resources, as was being suggested by the Majority side.

He said what the Minority sought to do was not to initiate an impeachment process against the President but rather for Parliament to investigate the propriety or otherwise of the President’s action.

“We just want Parliament to ask the critical questions, but if the Majority side thinks it has the numbers, I think it is in the interest of the House to let investigations kick-start because the Minority can initiate an impeachment process, which will be more damaging,” he added.

Special parliamentary committee

Mr Bagbin said the recall of Parliament had been occasioned by the Minority in Parliament submitting a motion to the Speaker for the House to constitute a special parliamentary committee to investigate whether President Mahama had received a Ford Expedition vehicle from a Burkinabe contractor or not.

It should also find out whether the vehicle received by the President infringed any law of Ghana, whether the vehicle donated to the President infringed his own code of conduct and any other matter relevant to the donated vehicle.

The motion by the Minority, copies of which were made available to the media, was signed by the Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, on August 3, 2016.

“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 President Mahama, nowhere in their motion is there the remotest suggestion of impeachment of the President,” Mr Bagbin said.

Clear mischief

He said it was clear, even to the uninitiated, that the recall of Parliament and the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) strategy that had heralded it had been borne out of a clear mischief and a desperate attempt to throw as much dirt at President John Dramani Mahama ahead of the December 7 elections.

He wondered why the Minority would want Parliament to investigate a matter that was already being investigated by a constitutional body such as the CHRAJ.

Mr Bagbin asked why the NPP Minority was claiming publicly that it sought to impeach the President today when that was not contained in its motion.

Cheap politics

He added that as a country “we should allow the rule of law to prevail and not use a small matter to do politics”, saying the move by the NPP “is not intended to serve any good purpose for this country. They want to use it to make unguarded political statements because of the immunity enjoyed by Members of Parliament (MPs)”.

“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,” Mr Bagbin added.

 

Source: radioxyzonline.com/files from graphic

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