Majority Leader – Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu
November 27, 2021

Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has given signals that going forward his side would no longer tolerate the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Alban Sumana Bagbin as he has started demonstrating that he is not a neutral Speaker who would want to carry the House along.

According to him the Speaker has started displaying machoism in the House, stating that after the conclusion of the 2022 budget debate, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta made an application to him to make an intervention before the conclusion of the budget; but he did not grant that application until the two leaders of the House concluded their debate.

“Without, any provocation the Speaker indicated that from now onward, he (the Speaker) should be recognised as the number two citizen of the land, and not the third gentleman; we all laugh over it because we all thought it was a joke”.

Mr. Osei-Kyei was also not happy about the Speaker’s directive that the Marshal should lead the Finance Minister out of the chamber following his earlier directive for all individuals including ministers who were not members of parliament to leave the chamber.

The Speaker’s directive follows the deputy Majority leader’s objection to the Speaker’s ruling on the voice vote to allow the finance minister, Ken Ofori Atta to have further engagement with the leaders of the House, and called for a ‘Division’.

“Whenever the Finance Minister comes to this House he presents his budget and aspect of the budget has been criticize by colleagues from the other side, at the end of the day they have all rallied to approve of the budget. This time around the Ministers said he sees disagreement so he appeals to the Speaker to be given the opportunity to do some engagement.

As a Speaker who thinks he can issues his own directives to ministers now says that simple application must be subjected to a vote; the man who makes the application should be moved away from the plenary at the conclusion of the debate.”

According to him, when it comes to voting, ministers are not allowed to participate, but they are always there. “But for whatever reason, the Speaker is saying he must leave; failure to do so, he would call the marshal to take him out.”

“What kind of threat is that, and we felt that if we do not stop this behaviour from the Speaker, we do not know the vice president would be the next, he can participate in proceedings but he cannot vote. Assuming it is the vice president who comes and he tells him to walk out?” He queried.

And  if he fails he would subject him to the orders of the marshal, can you believe that without any provocation in the meantime our orders provide that in such a situation it is the gallery that must be cleared, the minister is sitting in the plenary not in the gallery, he added.

He wondered why the General Secretary of the NDC in the gallery must not be ejected, but Finance Minister, who made an application and is in the plenary, should be taken away; “this is unbecoming of a Speaker, and we should not tolerate this any longer”.

Ironically, he noted, they had a meeting Friday, November 26, 2021  in the morning to discuss some of these issues that we must carry the House along; “you are  not the Speaker for one side of the House, increasingly he is beginning to demonstrate this  tendency, and  attitude does not speak well of a Speaker who is neutral.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/