The ‘self acclaimed’ Majority leader in Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has stated categorically that the Speaker of 8th Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin can never be neutral in any matter coming on the floor of the August House.
His premise was that the Rt Hon Speaker is coming from a political party which is the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu addressing the Parliamentary Press Corps in Accra today at the plush Job 600 Office Complex maintained that they know and deep within their souls feel that Rt Hon Bagbin can never be neutral on any matter on the floor despite his (Bagbin) earlier assurances that he will be impartial.
The leader of the majority group explained further that after meeting the Speaker to discuss issues and some pronouncements made by him in chambers is not what he the speaker says in plenary.
“But we are hoping that he will be the impartial person he said he will be
We want him to remain fair and balance as he is known to be, especially in discharge of his duties for the benefit of the country,“ he reiterated.
On the issue of the chairman of the Appointment Committee having voting right, the Majority Group Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu argued that practice where Chairmen of the Appointments Committee (First Deputy Speaker) votes, are illegal and must not vote.
According to him, they (First Deputy Speaker) represent the Speaker hence must not vote.
“The illegalities perpetrated in the past must not be allowed to continue” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu cautioned.
The NPP, is raising a preliminary issue concerning the ratio and the number of representatives on their side.
According to the NPP, the 13 representatives per the ratio used does not reflect a true representation of members on the committee since in his view, the First Deputy Speaker who chairs the Appointments Committee is a member of their Group.
Therefore, he is not entitled to original voting rights per the dictates of the Standing Orders of the House, specifically, Order 109(3) and Order 211(5).
With this, the leader of the majority group argued that there will be a deficit of one member from their side and therefore pleaded with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Alban Kingsford Bagbin to have a second look of the reconstitution of the Appointments Committee to exclude the First Deputy Speaker from the ratio.
Order 109(3) states “A Deputy Speaker or any other Member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding.
Order 211(5) also states that “The Chairman shall not have an original vote, but in the event of an equality of votes he shall give a casting vote”.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH