Wednesday, May 27, 2020

National Assembly Session Ends In Disarray

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The National Assembly met on Friday and Saturday 15th and 16th May, respectively, in what would have been considered a historic Marathon session on the State of Public Emergency .

The Attorney General responded positively on the issue of opening of (Lumos) weekly markets after consultation with councils to address the concerns of members.

He did indicate willingness to look at the content of all the regulations such as the closure of mosques and Educational centres in order to consider reasonable restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID 19.

The Minister of Health made a passionate appeal for members to take note that June is expected to be the peak period for the spread of the Virus and all measures must be taken to roll back the expectations.

He expressed that the various equipment are available and staff training has taken place. Inter sectoral collaboration is said to be in high gear. He appealed for an extension of 45 days.

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The Minister buttressed the motion after members made their observations.

The motion required the votes on not less than three- quarters of all the members of the National Assembly. The majority rejected the motion to extend the state of Public Emergency for another 45days.

After the rejection, some National Assembly members attempted to introduce another motion but standing order 29 paragraph 3 states that “It shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question upon which the Assembly has taken a decision during the current Session except upon a motion to rescind the decision of which notice must be given.”

Hence , any new proposal was not admissible during the Session unless a motion is made to rescind the decision to reject the motion.

Monday is D Day. Will the National Assembly rescind its Saturday decision knowing that it could revoke the regulations any time by the vote of the majority? Will the state of emergency come to an end? Will there be another computation of the time when it is to come to an end? Has the National Assembly surrendered its leadership role in fighting COVID 19? Is the institution being consumed by its new discovery of its powers? Has it failed to take note of the old maxim that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Foroyaa will follow how the Assembly will restore its unity of purpose which was earning it the admiration of the citizenry.

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