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Speaker of Parliament Back With Fight

SPEAKER OF Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, says he does not take kindly to certain pronouncements made by the Majority Leader recently that sought to counter his assertions especially, while he is in the chair as Speaker.


According to him, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is just a leader of the House – thus Members of Parliament – and not the leader of the institution of Parliament, asserting, “I will not take a Majority Leader always going on air to counter what I say, particularly when I say it in the chair.”


“I will not take that; I am in control here and I will continue to be in control until my term of office ends or, you decide otherwise as Members to remove me as the Speaker of the House by a vote of three quarters of Members of the House.”


“Please, this is the last time I will refer to it, and this is enough notice to whoever thinks that he has the same authority as the Speaker,” Mr. Bagbin stated last Friday, while presiding over proceedings.


The Majority Leader is reported to have described as false, claims by the Speaker that the House had been denied of its funds for this year in a radio interview.

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Addressing a one-sided House last Friday, Speaker Bagbin said, “Parliament goes beyond the House. It is an institution and arm of government, and that “the spokesperson for Parliament is the Speaker.”


“The Majority Leader speaks for the House and the House is made up of the Members of Parliament.


“But Parliament includes the Parliamentary Service and the supporting institutions like Health, the Police Service, Fire Service, National Security and other state institutions that render services to Parliament.


“This is the arm called Parliament as an institution,” he stated.


Mr. Bagbin continued, “It is important that when the Speaker speaks from the chair, the Leader of the House – that is the Leader of MPs – is not seen to be the one countering what the spokesperson of the arm of government is saying.”


“If he wants us to give documentary evidence about the non-funding of the House for this year, we will provide them. So when I heard that the Leader of the House has gone on air to say that what I said is not true, it saddens me,” he posited.

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He indicated that in response to what he said last Thursday, the government proceeded to quickly release the GH¢25 million to Parliament to enable the House function, noting, “There is evidence to that and that is on record.”


For him, Leaders of the House are there to “support the Speaker who is the leader of Parliament; not just of the House.”


Parliament Not Broke


The Majority in Parliament has countered an assertion by the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, that the legislature is broke, accusing him of not exercising patience and engaging in “presumptuous” outburst.


Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, said the outstanding GH¢25 million which forms part of the allocation to Parliament for its goods and services had been released at the time the Speaker was claiming that there was no money to run the business of the House.


“The Speaker’s statement was a bit presumptuous, and with the greatest respect, if he had exercised a bit of restraint, I think that he might not have made that comment that Parliament is broke. It creates an image of our country, and it is not too good,” he posited.

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“We do not want to have banter with the Speaker, but where we find that things need to be straightened, we would find a diplomatic way of doing that, reaching out so that we have peace for the progress and execution of work of the House,” he intimated.


Mr. Annoh-Dompreh explained that the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, had already communicated with the Clerk to Parliament and the Chief Account Officer for the funds to be released to the House, noting, “a little patience from the Speaker would have been better.”



“A day before Thursday, I was in touch with the Majority Leader before he left for Kumasi. He gave me a heads up in terms of what communication has gone on for the releases to Parliament, and he told me, he had appraised the Clerk to Parliament and the Chief Account Officer about it. So they all had foreknowledge about the processes involved, and the fact that the releases had been done.”









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