June 6, 2011

Alhaji Rashid Pelpuo, Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament said his comments that motivated a historic walk-out of the Speaker of Parliament last month should be seen as a democratic model evolving in the House.

Mrs Joyce Bamford Addo stormed out of the Chamber to register her displeasure about a comment by Alhaji Pelpuo that labelled the House as chaotic.

The action by the Speaker, was necessitated by the hesitation of the Deputy Majority Leader to retract the statement and apologise.

His comments however drew condemnation from both sides of the House.

Alhaji Pelpuo told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on Friday that a section of the majority and the minority condemned him unfairly.

“I stand for order; order in the House is crucial. If there is no order we cannot run the house.”

He insisted that the Standing Orders 86 and 97 enjoined all members to stand up, catch the Speakers eye and if given the nod before they could proceed to speak.

Alhaji Pelpuo claimed that some members do not allow the Speaker to call them before they made their point, which he saw as a gross violation of the orders of the House.

He said when members disobeyed Parliamentary Orders it could be misinterpreted and cited a Kenyan Parliamentarian who once described the House “as chaotic”.

Alhaji Pelpuo called on the democratic experts to keep an eye on every incident that creep into the Ghanaian politics and mould it into a unique democratic culture for the country.

“If the speaker feels strongly about a case, she withdraws and consults before she comes back,” he said adding that “Its part of the democratic process”.