General News of Thursday, 27 July 2017
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has said that it was wrong for the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak to have banged his hands on the table on the floor of parliament to protest a directive from the Speaker of Parliament.
The Speaker on Thursday July 27 had ruled that: “I have consistently made it clear to both sides of the House – Majority and Minority – that no one will be allowed a double bite as I said on many occasions to both the Minority and the Majority. In all honesty you all know that.
“Let me make it clear that this argument was most unnecessary and that in future what is going to happen is no leader shall have double bite at the chamber.”
This was after Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu was denied a second chance to ask the Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr Akoto Owusu Afriyie questions relating to government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
Dissatisfied with the directive, Mr Mubarak, according to Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu banged his fist on his desk in protest to the Speaker’s ruling.
Speaking to Class 91.3FM after the development, Mr Muntaka said: “Since this Speaker came, we have been treated with a lot of disrespect. We are not given the space to raise concerns so what are we going to be sitting there doing if we can’t have the space to be heard.
“We have lost all the opportunities to show our frustration so we had to burst in anger, unfortunately, which was unnecessary.
“He is making the space so narrow for the Minority to even have their say which is the common thing that every Minority member can have. Now we can’t have our say and we can’t have our way, this is unbearable for us.”
Reacting to his outburst on the floor of parliament, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said: “Our Orders, Order 93(5) provide that the conduct of Mr Speaker, Members, Chief Justice, Judges of the Superior Courts of Judicature shall not be raised except upon on a substantive motion.
“So the Orders provide sufficient avenue to redress any grievance of a member. This is a House of rules and procedure so if my colleague, the Chief Whip for the Minority is unhappy about a directive or a ruling by the Speaker, the avenues are opened to the person.
“I think it will be wrongful for the member to rise and be referring to the conduct of the Speaker not on a substantive motion [and] at the same time be banging the table, that is unacceptable.”