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Ghana: Minority threatens to impeach Speaker

The Minority in Parliament has threatened to impeach the Speaker of the House , Prof Mike Oquaye. 

According to them the Speaker has since the inception of the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic, been bias against them, citing  a number of instances to justify their claims.

The Minority’s threat follows a complaint by its leader Haruna Iddrisu on Thursday that Prof Oquaye had limited him to just one question when the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) appeared before parliament to response  to government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

Mr Iddrisu who was not happy with proceedings accused the Speaker of bias and promised to use all avenues available to him to register his concerns.

“You know the essence of parliamentary questions is significant and integral to the exercise of oversight. Your refusal to allow me even as Minority Leader to proceed can only be an effort to cripple us.

“We respect you as chair of this house; we have a responsibility as leadership to support you in maintaining order in this house…” Mr Iddrisu said.

The Speaker in a ruling said  “no one will be allowed a double bite as I said on many occasions to both the Minority and the Majority. In all honesty you all know that.

“Let me make it clear that this argument was most unnecessary and that in future what is going to happen is no leader shall have double bite at the chamber,” Prof Oquaye added.

“Let me make it clear that this argument was most unnecessary and that in future what is going to happen is no leader shall have double bite at the chamber,” the Speaker Prof. Mike Ocquaye told the Tamale South lawmaker.

Minority Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Asawase in the Ashanti Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka who briefed the press soon after the incident said the minority will not continuance any form of ”disrespect” from the Chair .

He noted that the Rt. Speaker has been deliberately brushing the Minority members aside when it comes to issues concerning the Ghanaians whom they represent.

He mentioned that few days ago when the House was considering the motion on the Special Prosecutors Bill and the Zongo Development Fund, he stood up for a long time with the intention to draw the Speaker’s attention to the procedure being adopted but the Speaker refused to recognized him.

He explained that members of the Business Committee from both sides of the House have to agree on issues that have to be discussed on the floor but on number of occasions, the Chairman of the Business Committee who is also the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has altered the issues slated and agreed to be discussed without the consent of the Minority and the Rt. Hon. Speaker had said nothing about it.

Hon. Muntaka cautioned that the Minority side has more than 1/3 of the House and they can invoke the appropriate orders in the Standing Order to disallow the Rt.Hon. Speaker from his “unacceptable behaviour”.

“We busted out of anger on the floor of the House because we are frustrated, we have ran out of patience, we only don’t want to use the appropriate orders in the Standing Orders because we don’t want to dent the record of Parliament but if he continues to disrespect the Minority side we have no choice than to use all the options available” he stated.

Source: Gily Sparks | parliamentafrica.com

 

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