The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has said that he will not yield to pressure from any group or individual to make Parliament a ‘rubber stamp’ or obstructive body.
Alban Bagbin in his first address before the 8th Parliament at its first major sitting said he believes that Parliament, notwithstanding the political party has the clear majority, must not act as an extension of the Executive or be obstructive to the work of the Executive.
“Regardless of which party has the upper hand in the House, it will be wrong to see Parliament’s role as either obstructive or rubber-stamping the government’s agenda. Parliament cannot discharge any of its core mandates, deliberative, legislative, financial control, oversight and representational by being either obstructionist or rubber stamp,” he said.
He said Parliament’s role in government is an impartial one that requires that it does its job diligently to probe, question and scrutinize bills, nominations and proposed agreements, all geared towards the development of the country.
With Ghana’s Parliament currently having 137 seats occupied by the governing NPP, 137 seats occupied by the NDC, and one independent parliamentary seat, many have said the development may pose a challenge for the Executive since it will struggle to have its nominations, bills and proposed agreements passed by Parliament.
But Bagbin says, “Parliament’s role is to the check and balance the executive, not to obstruct or rubber-stamp the executive agenda. Parliament does its job when it questions, investigates, reviews and scrutinize the Executive, its bills, nominations and proposed agreements and proceeds to approve, amend or reject them as the case may be,” he added.
Citing various examples where Parliament rejected nominations and questioned bills proposed by the Executive, Alban Bagbin said any such object must and will always be done in good faith and transparent justification under his leadership.
“As long as it is done in good faith, and with transparent justification, such cases cannot be called rubber-stamping or obstructionist. As Speaker, I will not yield to pressure from any quarter to allow this august house to be turned into a rubber stamp or obstructionist,” Alban Bagbin said.