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Friday, January 28, 2022

‘If you push politics into the streets, you will be the major losers’ – Pianim warns MPs

Kwame Pianim is a founding member of the NPP

Kwame Pianim, an economist and founding member of the ruling New Patriotic Party has charged Members of Parliament to pursue dialogue to settle differences in the House.

He has also warned that failure to do so will ‘push politics into the streets,’ and if that happens, they will be the ultimate losers.

“MPs should focus on serious national issues and help protect the Fourth Republic. If you push politics into the streets, you will be the major losers and set back national development for decades.

“Focus on deliberating on the budget and make the measures promote the national interest and the welfare of the poor in your constituencies,” he is quoted to have said in an interview with the state-run Daily Graphic newspaper.

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He also spoke on other issues including the need to suspend the E-levy as contained in the 2022 budget and also tasking the National House of Chiefs to convene a meeting between President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and former President John Dramani Mahama.

Open hostility in Parliament amid budget approval issues

On Wednesday, the Bekwai MP in dismissing the motion and arguments of the minority caucus seeking a reversal of the approval of the 2022 budget stated that there was a distinction between who a deputy speaker was and who a Speaker is.

He said, “any attempt to read and interpret the constitution of ‘Mr. Speaker’ to include the deputy speakers is a misreading and a misapplication of the constitution”.

“First it must be clear that a deputy speaker is not a Speaker. Indeed Article 96 (1) of the Constitution says and I quote ‘there shall be two deputy speakers who shall be elected by members of parliament from among members of parliament,” he explained.

His ruling led to loud protests on the part of the Minority forcing him to suspend sitting. Joe Wise did not return to the seat and the house was adjourned by Second Deputy Speaker who also presided over the house the following day.

The sitting of December 2 was brief, lasting some four minutes after the leadership of both Caucuses agreed to set up a committee to deescalate tensions before the House reconvenes next Tuesday.

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