Alban Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, has stated that he has applied parliamentary rules fairly based on his experience and understanding.
Addressing a forum of former Parliamentarians held on Thursday, December 23, 2021, the Speaker said “I can give you a copy of my closing remarks which when I was leaving I passed through my usher to give to them that it was after 10 in the night, and I had to go and take a rest because you delayed in sitting. I had to compel the house to sit after 2 and I presided, I said let us discuss E-levy, you said no. Rather the other business. I kept on varying we did about 6 important items, approving other loans until I had to hand over getting to 6:30 to the First Deputy Speaker.
“Now, they say I refused to preside that is why some numbers were not in the House, I am not a Chief whip of any party. I am not entitled to bring members to the House, that is not my duty. I presided and apply the rules and I have applied them fairly according to my understanding, through literature, through experience.”
It will be recalled that the Speaker was not in Parliament on Monday, December 20, 2021, when members of the two caucuses engaged in fisticuffs regarding the E-levy.
This led to the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, chastising Mr. Bagbin over the way and manner in which he had conducted himself in Parliament on Monday, December 20.
Kyei Mensah Bonsu revealed that the Speaker left Parliament to his home without communicating to the Second Deputy Speaker whom he handed over to.
On Tuesday, December 21, the Suame lawmaker in a presser explained that “He said he will come here at 11: 30, subsequently another message came to say that he can only be here at 12. I mean, the House cannot be held to ransom by one person. It is most unfortunate.
“Yesterday leaving the seat he told the First Deputy that he was handing over to, that he will come back pretty soon and all that we heard was that he had left to his house, that is most unfortunate without any further communication to the Second Deputy Speaker or to me because I have been having some discussions with him and I am told him today, that he didn’t even have any discussion with the Minority as well so where are we going from where. It is most unfortunate development.”
Meanwhile, Joseph Osei Owusu the First Deputy Speaker, on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, announced that Parliament has adjourned sitting sine die.
According to the Majority Leader, the adjournment of the sitting on the E-levy would afford the Majority and the government more time to do further consultations on the proposal.
“I think that this will also allow us some time to have further consultations among ourselves, it is the reason why the First Deputy Speaker had to adjourn the House sine die. As you know, the budget has been passed, there was an attempt to portray that that there is no budget, there is a budget, the appropriations bill passed.”
The adjournment of Parliament was after some Members on December 20, 2021, exchanged brawls in the House just before the final vote on the controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, also known as E-levy.
The sit-in Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, had announced that a division would be followed to approve the Bill, presented under a certificate of urgency, and he was going to vote as well in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.
This appeared to have provoked the opposition, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) members, who questioned his decision to vote after presiding over the night’s proceedings.
They moved to the front of the dais, issuing threats at the Bekwai MP.
This got the Majority MPs to also start agitations and immediately Mr Osei-Owusu handed the presiding role to the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the fight broke out.
Source: Richard Mensah Adonu | Join our Telegram Group