Rt Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin Speaker of the 8th parliament has stressed his determination to discharge his duties without fear or favour.
The Speaker while addressing the house on December 16 2021 stated categorically that he does not seek to frustrate government business and will not also compromise on serving the interest of Ghanaians.
“Let me reiterate my solemn pledge to the people of Ghana, which I canvassed in my first formal communication to this House, that, I will not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate government business, but, I will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government.”
“This House is fully focused in discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interests of the Ghanaian people are served,” he said.
The Speaker called on the lawmakers to continue to strengthen channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes they have adopted “for our burgeoning democracy to thrive.”
He also apologized to the nation for the acts of some of the members which he said cast shadows on the image of the house.
“I have taken my time to read the Order Paper, Votes and Proceedings and the Official Reports of the days in issue. And I am convinced we should accept the view of the conscience of the nation that we owe Ghanaians an apology and I will proceed to do just that.
“As the Head of Parliament, the voice of the Legislature, who speaks for and on behalf of Parliament, hence the title; Speaker, I with all humility, apologize on behalf of the House and all members for the aberrations of conduct and behaviour of those days.
“I take responsibility for what happens in the House and I admit it is neither dignified nor exalted by those rancorous and unruly behaviours of members,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Minority Caucus in the house is still hell-bent on rejecting the government’s proposed 1.75% E-levy in its entirety.
According to the caucus, it will kick against the levy in any shape or form since it will inflict more hardship on Ghanaians.
“It is true that we engaged. We were part of the engagement, but at that engagement, regrettably and unfortunately, on the matter of e-levy we could not have agreement and consensus,” Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader had stated.
Also, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has also waded into the discourse by saying “We elect people to represent us to make sure there is some equilibrium in what governments do. It is to our good that our representatives in Parliament subject the national budget to the most rigorous scrutiny and to call for changes”.
He advised that the ruling class should have a listening heart and a spirit of humility in the discharge of their duties.
“Government must also have the humility to acknowledge and embrace the useful inputs from all sources, but our representatives need to bear in mind that it is not their role to either determine policy or to frustrate the executive from performing their legitimate duties.”