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Speaker calls for support for parliament

By
Christopher Arko, GNA  
     

Accra, July 17, GNA –
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, has called on
international organisations such as the Commonwealth to assist parliament to
deal with its peculiar challenges.

He said very often
assistance that should come to parliament came in the form of bi-lateral
agreements and, as such, went to the Executive arm of Government.

Prof Oquaye made the
call when he received Lord Tariq Ahmad, the British Minister of State for the
Commonwealth and the United Nations at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on
Monday at the Parliament House in Accra.

The discussions
centred on deepening cooperation among Ghana and the Commonwealth.  

The Commonwealth is an
intergovernmental organisation of 52 member states that are mostly former
territories of the British Empire.

Prof. Oquaye said it
was important for the Commonwealth to consider the unique role of both
Parliament and the Judiciary in the trinity of governance.

He said a lot of good
things happened in Parliament but came under the auspices of government’s
determination.

He, therefore, urged
Lord Ahmad to use his new role as a British Minister of State to consider how
best his organisation could deal directly with the Commonwealth Parliaments in areas
that need peculiar assistance.

Prof Oquaye indicated
that the Parliament of Ghana would continue to associate with the Commonwealth
freely within the boundaries of mutual respect.

He said Ghana, over
the years, had always taken the Commonwealth very seriously, adding that this
depicted the long standing cooperation between the two institutions.

He recounted vividly
the role Britain played in Ghana’s democratisation process from 1992 when the
new “Wind of Change” meant a new direction towards multi-party system and good
governance among others.

Prof Oquaye said under
the auspices of the Commonwealth and other friendly nations a lot of assistance
were given to support the country’s electoral process.

He said it was just
proper for the nation to appreciate the benefits it had derived for being a
member of the Commonwealth Organisation.

Lord Tariq Ahmad, on
his part, stated that the courtesy call was to strengthen the bi-lateral
relations between Ghana and the United Kingdom (UK).

He said Ghana and the
UK shared many things in common in terms of the history and heritage of the
people.

He said there was a
strong Ghanaian Diaspora in the UK, about a quarter of a million, who had made
Britain their home.

Lord Ahmad called on
the two countries to strengthen the existing ties in the area of trade and
mutual interests and how they could face-up to the challenges both bi-laterally
and globally.

He stressed the need
to make the Commonwealth relevant for the present and future generations,
adding that common challenges and platforms could be used to strengthen the
organisation.

He said there were
huge opportunities Commonwealth nations could leverage on when they worked as a
team and strengthened relations across parliaments, education and culture.

Lord Ahmad expressed
delight at Ghana’s Parliament, which he described as the Bastian of democracy
on the African Continent.

He lauded the Speaker
for his crucial role in Parliament and some of the initiatives he has taken in
the House.

He said the House
should collaborate with the relevant organisations to work on important bills
such as the Bill on the Special Prosecutor and Right to Information.

Lord Ahmed said an
important element of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was how to
strengthen the focus of parliamentarians in Ghana working in conjunction with
Members of Parliament in the UK.

GNA

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