Don’t gag minority – ACEPA to Speaker

Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye should allow the Minority to express their views on parliamentary matters, Executive Director at the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr Rasheed Draman, has said.

Dr Draman was of the view that even though the smaller Minority cannot have decisions on matters in their favour because of the larger Majority, they should be given the chance to express their opinions on issues.

“All they [Minority] want is to simply have their say, they will not have their way particularly given the numbers that we currently have and whatever it is, I think the Rt Hon Speaker should give the minority the space to have their say in all deliberations in the house,” he told Class News’ Jonas Ofori-Yeboah on 505 on Thursday, 27 July 2o17.

His comment comes in the wake of threats by the Minority who are considering taking steps to impeach the Speaker of the house over claims Prof Oquaye is biased against them.

Ranking Member of the Communications Committee of the house, ABA Fuseini, told Class News’ parliamentary correspondent 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.

However, Dr Draman said the recurrent situation where accusations of bias are levelled against a speaker of parliament is bad and needs to be handled tactfully to end such circumstances since it does not augur well for the country’s democratic status.

It will be recalled that the current Majority who were Minority in the immediate past 6th session of parliament also accused the then Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho of partiality.

Dr Draman emphasised that if the minority decides to boycott parliament as they have threatened, and do not “participate in parliamentary deliberations, perhaps we are just going to have a one-sided house and that is not good for the image of our country and for the image of our democracy”.

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