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Sunday, December 5, 2021

You’re not an MP…- Majority Leader tells Bagbin

Alban Bagbin and Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Alban Bagbin and Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, says the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, cannot predetermine the fate of the Anti LGBTQI+ bill before the House for consideration.

According to the leader who doubles as the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Bagbin is not a parliamentarian, hence the best he can do is to make referrals to the business committees.

The private member’s bill dubbed: ‘The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021’ seeks to criminalise the activities of homosexuals in the country.

Ahead of its consideration in parliament, there have been widespread pronouncements on the passage.

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Some faith-based organisations have warned of dire consequences, amidst threats to vote out any political party that will oppose the bill.

Mr Bagbin had earlier said the activities of homosexuals were worse than the coronavirus pandemic, hence parliament will pass the bill as soon as possible.

“Ghanaians have spoken with one voice. I sit here as Speaker of Ghana, I represent Ghanaians and the country Ghana. We have spoken with one voice that we don’t want anything to do with whatever things they add,” the Speaker declared.

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But Mr Mensah-Bonsu, addressing a media briefing on Tuesday, said he finds difficulty with the Speaker’s pronouncement, especially as a former Member of Parliament who is privy to the operations of the House.

“The Speaker can make a referral to Parliament which will be programmed by the business committee for consideration. I will find it difficult if we have a Speaker who will in spite of his own antecedent as former MP to say that Parliament is going to pass the bill. It is a bit of a difficulty.

“I am not saying that Parliament is not going to pass the bill but the Speaker should not make a predetermination for the house because he is not a Member of Parliament and this is the business of Parliament,” he stated.

The Suame MP, however, added the House will be guided by the constitution and standing orders in deciding the fate of the bill.

“MPs are representatives of the people and the citizens of this country should be rest assured that parliament will not turn our backs on them. We represent their interest in parliament and so we will do what is needful,” he assured.

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