General News of Friday, 28 July 2017
Minority in Parliament has accused Speaker, Prof. Mike Ocquaye of exhibiting clear subjectivity in his proceedings in Parliament.
According to them, the Speaker has at time without number treated their side with impunity and disregard and they would no longer have any of that.
“For want of a better term, the Speaker has exhibited gross levels of bias that is unbelievable….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 behavior”.
Speaking to Class FM, Member of the Communications Committee of the house ABA Fuseini argued, that this treatment from the Speaker was never witnessed in previous parliaments, rather they maintained, all sides were treated with utmost respect and dignity and concerns raised were addressed with all decency.
“In the annals of the history of Parliament, I have never seen this kind of behavior. 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”, he said.
To register their displeasure at the state of happenings, they would consider among many others, the option of impeaching the Speaker as a means of correcting what they deem a defect in the current parliament.
“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 Miniority 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 stated.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrissu Thursday complained that the Speaker, Prof. Ocquaye had restricted him to a single question when Minister for Food and Agriculture appeared before parliament to respond to questions relating to government’s Planting for Food and Jobs Programme.
Mr. Iddrissu who appeared unamused by the Speaker’s actions accused him of bias.
“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 leadership to support you in maintaining order in this house…” Mr Iddrisu added.
In response however, the Speaker indicated that it was a norm for every member to be allowed a single chance to address their issues in such circumstances and not double.
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 double bite at the chamber,” Prof Oquaye added.