March 22, 2024

The Minority Caucus in Parliament has described as bizarre and unfortunate the Majority Caucus’ claim against the Speaker, RT. Hon. Alban Bagbin of arbitrariness and falsely claiming that the Speaker and the Minority Caucus are sabotaging so-called government business.

The Minority said the Majority Caucus has only fallen on its own dagger in Parliament on Wednesday; stating that “the Majority Caucus is engaged in deliberate distortions and grand propaganda to whip up public sentiments against the Rt. Hon. Speaker and the Minority Caucus with these claims.

According to the Minority, in a statement issued on Thursday March 21, 2024, on Wednesday, there was no tax waiver business before the House, and that the claim by the Majority Caucus is false. “Clearly, they intended smuggling the tax waivers into the last-minute business of the House. In its present form, we are opposed to these tax waivers. We have stated our opposition on these waivers time without number. They are tainted with corruption and designed to siphon state resources into private pockets.”

The Speaker on Wednesday, suspended the approval of the President’s Ministerial nominees citing an interlocutory injunction filed by Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, Member of Parliament for South Dayi which prevents parliament from carrying on with the approval process until the determination of the case by the Supreme Court.

The Speaker said his decision was based on the precedence set by the President in which the President wrote to the Clark of Parliament urging him not to transmit the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill 2021 passed by Parliament to the President to assent to until two injunction cases at the Supreme Court are determined.

But the Majority Caucus would have none of this and accused the Speaker and the Minority of sabotaging government business.

The Majority Leader in a statement noted that the President is entitled to respect the legal injunctions pending before the Supreme Court; and that the presidency’s stance does not undermine Parliament’s authority.

The Executive Secretary to the President on March 18, 2024 wrote to the Clark of parliament to cease and desist from transmitting the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill 2024 to the President for assent until the matters before the Supreme Court are resolved.

This has brought some level of tension between the two arms of government.

The Speaker in an official statement to the House also expressed regret concerning the conduct displayed by the Presidency following Parliament’s successful unanimous passage of the Human Sexual Values Bill, 2021; adding that the behaviour exhibited by the Presidency in refusing to accept the transmission of this bill not only deviates from established democratic practices but also undermines the spirit of cooperative governance and mutual respect for the arms of government.

“This is a principle that forms the cornerstone of our political system. Such actions, if left unchecked, risk setting dangerous precedents that threaten the integrity and functionality of our democratic institutions”, the Speaker stated.

The Speaker disclosed that a disturbing pattern seems to be emerging from the Executive branch, which points to a concerning disregard for the foundational principles enshrined in the Constitution, 1992, citing President’s refusal to assent to three critical bills that had been duly passed via as a Private Members’ Bill.