April 19, 2024

The Parliament of Ghana has clarified that the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin is currently out of the jurisdiction for official assignment.

A statement put out by the Media Relations outfit of Parliament point out that the social media enquiry asking of the whereabout of the speaker sought to impugn the absence of speaker from the jurisdiction portraying the speaker in a negative light.

Parliament is currently on recess in line with its Calendar and Standing Order 57 which provides for the suspension and adjournment of the House. During such times, Members and officials of Parliament are able to interact with their constituents and attend to other assignments, in line with their Parliamentary duties, including international assignment.

In consequence, the Rt. Hon Speaker is currently leading a parliamentary delegation at the International Renewal Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

It must be noted that, Parliament as an arm of government, is a rule-based institution and Members of Parliament are aware of the established procedures to communicate with the Rt Hon Speaker if need be. If there is a need for Members to request for a recall of Parliament during a recess, Order 53 of the Standing Orders provides that: “15% of Members of Parliament may request a meeting of Parliament and the Speaker shall within 7 days after receipt of the request, summon Parliament.”

It is instructive to note that no such request has been made by any Member of Parliament and so, the calls for a recall of Parliament by persons outside of Parliament is frivolous and vexatious, and amounts to meddling in the work of Parliament.

In any case, per the provisions of Order 12(4) of the Standing Order, the presence of the Rt. Hon. Speaker and/or his Deputies is not required for Parliament to sit. Moreover, Order 52 provides for virtual Sitting so one’s physical presence is not necessarily required in today’s virtual world.

Parliament is aware of the need for collaboration and consensus building because of its hung nature and the Speaker, has sought throughout his tenure, to remain neutral and fair in his dealings. Therefore, to insinuate that the Speaker is not heeding calls for a recall because of his political allegiance to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is unfounded and unfortunate.

Parliament wishes to state that baring any emergency or unforeseen circumstance, it is likely to reconvene in the latter part of May 2024. Parliament reiterates its commitment to upholding the rule-based nature of the institution and fostering effective governance for the benefit of our nation.