General News of Thursday, 27 July 2017
It is “contemptuous” for the Minority in Parliament to have threatened to impeach the Speaker, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said.
“That threat is contemptuous,” the Suame MP told Class 91.3FM after Thursday’s sitting.
The Minority made the threat after they expressed unhappiness with the manner in which the Speaker was conducting the business of the house.
Ranking Member of the Communications Committee of the house, ABA Fuseini, told Ekow Annan that: “For want of a better term, the Speaker has exhibited gross levels of bias that is unbelievable. In the annals of the history of parliament, I have never seen this kind of behaviour. There is always reverence and respect for the leadership and when it comes to the leadership there is a special dispensation Speakers give to the leadership and this is not the first time the Speaker has treated our side with this level of disrespect and I think that we are reaching the end of the rope with that kind of behaviour.
“We are going to be forced to take maybe an unprecedented action that has never happened in the annals of our fourth republic. …We are very close and there are a number of options available to us as Minority to exploit including the impeachment of the Speaker. … [Impeachment] is an option available to us to exercise and when we deem it fit, we are going to exercise it if things don’t change,” Mr Fuseini added.
Earlier on the floor, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu had protested against the Speaker for limiting him to just one question when the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) appeared before parliament.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto was on the floor to answer questions relating to government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
Accra100.5FM’s parliamentary correspondent Richard Appiah Sarpong said Mr Iddrisu appeared infuriated about the turn of events and accused the Speaker of bias.
Mr Iddrisu said: “You know the essence of parliamentary questions is significant and integral to the exercise of oversight. Your refusal to allow me even as Minority Leader to proceed can only be an effort to cripple us.
“We respect you as chair of this house; we have a responsibility as leaders to support you in maintaining order in this house…” Mr Iddrisu added.
The Speaker, however, responded 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 a double bite at the chamber,” Prof Oquaye added.