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ECOWAS Boycott: “Speaker should have allowed more room for debate”---Ayariga

A Ghanaian representative to the Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) Parliament, Mahama Ayariga has expressed worry over decision taken by the Parliament to pull out of all activities of the Inter-Parliamentary-Union (IPU).

According to the Ghanaian lawmaker, Speaker of the Community Parliament, Mustapha Cisse Lo should have given room for an exhaustive debate on the matter.

He further pointed out in an interview the Speaker started with his position right from the beginning, how he was not accorded the necessary courtesy by IPU when he attended the 140th meeting in Qatar Doha. 

“I hate to say this, but this Parliament under this Speaker does not give room for debate or discussion, if you observe he did not give room for an exhaustive debate “.

Again, when you are a Speaker and you make your position known right from the beginning it becomes embarrassing for you to “beat a retreat”.

He should have raised the issue, “this is my experience at IPU, what do you think about it as MPs, do we continue spending money on it?” He would have helped the debate by hearing from the pros and cons, he added.

In conclusion, he would have said: “I join those who think as members of this Parliament we should not continue spending money to attend IPU; “right from the beginning you stated that you will not attend and you will not send any body”.

Mr. Ayariga was also not happy the Speaker even recommend that his successor should never attend the IPU. “Who will openly want to go and speak against the Speakers position on the matter, it becomes a very intimidating situation. He should not let his personal position be known before we debate the matter, he should put it out there let us debate it”.

 “It is not about you as a person, it is about the Parliament, if you have an issue with how you were treated as the Speaker of the community Parliament, between the last meeting of IPU and the upcoming one; that is a space of time for you to dialogue with IPU. Write to them and receive their response, let the Secretary General, John Azumah write to them, this is the position of ECOWAS Parliament at IPU”

Mr. Mahama Ayariga in addition pointed out that the Speaker indicated that other regional Parliaments like the Pan African Parliament had been given some status, which he did not enjoy, work for that status, but you do not withdraw.

“This is an important platform as a regional Parliament which this is an important platform to meeting Parliaments all over the world”.

Also we have to know that all Parliaments have their constitutions and decides who is a member equally who are not members of a Parliamentary union, and state who is an observer.

“We have to study the constitution of IPU, find out how the regional parliaments are placed, you cannot just get up go to IPU to say you should be given all the needed recognition you think you are entitle to”.

In addition the Speaker should send an ordinary member of the House to go and observe more activities at the IPU for the House to maintain its network and relationship to that institution (IPU).

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/  

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