The National Assembly: Behind the Scene Moves
In the last quarter of the year 2018, the National Assembly earned the admiration of the nation when they voted to reject the Supplementary Appropriation Bill brought by the Executive. Many citizens applauded what seemed to be a patriotic stance against an executive overreach which was seen as wasteful.
However, less than a day later, some behind-the-scenes moves overturned that euphoria when they surreptitiously voted to pass the bill in the cover of darkness. This move was disappointing and perhaps sent a signal that they (the National Assembly) could be toyed with any time the Executive so desired.
The Supplementary Appropriation Bill was seen as wasteful and unnecessary because the time left for the expiration of the financial year was so short that one could not fathom what the need was for the Executive to ask for such a huge amount of money at the eleventh hour.
A lot was said and written about it but they didn't seem to be bothered. Many people blamed this on the fact that the Executivehad been able to exercise some control over deputies using some underhanded methods.
From day one, the Executive arm of government has sought to undermine and compromise the Members of the National Assembly so that they won't do their oversight role as expected.
For instance, the President gave brand new pickup trucks to Members of Parliament which he claimed were from an anonymous donor. Up until today, the Executive has refused to disclose the identity of that donor.
Then later again, it was revealed that the president had been giving MPs brown envelopes containing cash amounting to ten thousand dalasis every now and again. There is no logical explanation of these amounts other than bribes for the MPs to give him a leeway whenever he so desires.
This has been observable on many instances as we see things happening which should have, under normal circumstances, warranted the National Assembly taking the executive branch to task but nothing happens. The layman can therefore perceive these things as emanating from the control that the executive has over the National Assembly.
Yesterday, 23rd of September 2019, we saw the National Assembly take a stance and suspend their debate because neither the president nor the vice president was available for them to debate the State if the Nation Address. This gives hope to citizens but there is a lurking fear that some behind-the-scene tactics may be used again to make them change their stance.