Speaker Alban Bagbin has stated that Government is not entitled to have its way in Parliament.
Speaking at the 2nd sitting of the first session of the 8th Parliament, Friday, the Speaker entreated Members of Parliament to consider the outcome of the 2020 elections and re-dedicate themselves to “the true and core mandate and mission of Parliament”.
Clarifying the role of Parliament, he indicated that the misconception of Parliament’s role was borne out of the “winner-take-all politics” brought on by the two-party structure and composition of the House.
“Because of this, whenever Parliament is dominated by the same party that holds the Presidency and forms the Government, the common perception and expectation is that Parliament will automatically support the Government’s agenda, without regard to its merits”.
“In short, we have come to assume that Government is entitled to have its way in Parliament.”
Going forward, Mr Bagbin implored members of the House to rededicate themselves to Parliament’s core mandate of being a check-and-balance for the Executive and not to obstruct or rubberstamp the Executive’s agenda.
As one of the longest serving Member of Parliament, Mr Bagbin recounted various instances of Parliament applying itself in its role in governance by questioning, investigating, reviewing, and scrutinizing the Executive’s bills, nominations, and its proposed agreements, and then proceeding to approve, amend, or reject them as needed.
“Even in the First Parliament, when the NPP’s boycott of the 1992 Parliamentary Elections left the House with no real Opposition party, bills proposed by the Executive were not accorded routine, rubber-stamp treatment; they were subjected to close review, scrutiny, and modification, where necessary,” he stated.