Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution imposes an obligation on Members of Parliament (MPs), the Speaker and the Judiciary to receive the President's Message on the State of the Nation.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament disclosed this on Wednesday during a media briefing of the Parliamentary Leadership at Parliament House in Accra.
He indicated that the House, would from Monday, February 19, 2024, begin to have extended sittings.
This, he said, was necessary to enable the House to carry out the numerous businesses, adding that from the third week, Mondays would be included in the sitting days of the House.
He noted that the first meeting of the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament, which began on Tuesday, February 6th, would have seven weeks and would end on Thursday, March 21st, for the Easter Recess.
He said the First Meeting of a Session of Parliament usually had nine to 10 weeks, sometimes 11 weeks.
However, the seven-week period for the current Meeting was due to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) having its Parliamentary Primaries on the 27th of January, which pushed their resumption period further back.
The Majority Leader said: “Originally we were to come on the 30th of January, but it was pushed to the 6th of February because in the considerate opinion of the Speaker, he felt that soon after the holding of the primaries, which was certainly going to involve some casualties, we needed some time for people to maybe console themselves or be consoled before coming to Parliament.”
Touching on the House adjourning on Thursday, February 21st, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said this would also enable the Leadership of the House to attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Meeting in Kampala, Uganda.
He said in the seven-week period, the House would be able to work on 15 to 16 Bills.
He said the Bills that the House would be able to handle within this Meeting would include the Presidential Transition Amendment Bill and that there was a Parliamentary Transition Bill that was yet to be unveiled.
He said the House would also be dealing with the Ghana Boundaries Commission Bill, the Environmental Protection Agency Bill, the Vaccine Development and Manufacturing Bill.
He said the Internal Audit Agency wanted to have a Bill to reposition it to enable it to deliver adequately on its mandate.