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MPs to recite national pledge on daily basis

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Parliament on Tuesday started implementing the new Standing Orders which requires members of Parliament to recite the national pledge on a daily basis and an introduction of a daily roll call of members before business starts.

The new Standing Orders replace the old one which has been in existence since 2006.

The roll call, captured in order 14, is to make the attendance list more credible and to erase doubts as to who was present in the chamber especially during crucial voting periods.

The Speaker, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, told members the new Standing Order was in full force beginning Tuesday, February 6, 2024.

The intent among others is also to instill discipline, promote a sense of duty in respect of the people who voted for them.

The recitation of the national pledge is to enhance patriotism and love for country.

The Speaker said the oral roll call does not negate the signing of the attendance books either in the chamber or at the committee level.

Speaking to the media, the first Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ibrahim Ahmed, said the new Standing Orders were to close the gaps in the old one.

Under it, some of the committees are to be divided into three to promote efficiency and effectiveness.

For instance, the Finance Committee which is made up of 25 members is now divided into committees of Finance, Economy and Planning.

The membership is now 15 for Finance, 13 for Economy and 13 for Planning.

Also a committee like Defence and Interior has been decoupled.

Under the new Standing Orders, membership of all the committees including the appointments committee have been reduced to 13.

Per the new Orders, the First Deputy Speaker will chair the Appointments Committee and the vice by the deputy Majority Leader and the Ranking by the Minority Leader as well as the Chief whips.

The Appointments Committee will also have three experts from any of the sector committees depending who is being vetted.

For instance, if a minister is being vetted for the position of Finance, three experts from the Finance committee will be added to the list for an informed questioning and assistance.

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