The never-ending drama associated with the eighth parliament of the 4th republic of Ghana took yet another bizarre twist yesterday as so-called honorable members did not-so-honorable things in the chamber of Ghana’s Parliament.
The minority caucus, who had shockingly boycotted proceedings just a day before when it was widely expected that their colleagues on the majority side will seek a redemption after last friday’s tactical beating, suddenly returned in full force to defend their victory of last friday.
Buoyed by the fact that they had a Speaker for the day who was one of their own and aligned to their cause, the majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu moved a motion to set aside last friday’s budget rejection, arguing that the Right Honorable Speaker, Alban Bagbin presided over an illegality.
With the majority absent and the motion for rescission duly seconded by deputy majority leader, Alexander Afenyo Markin, 1st deputy speaker, Joe Osei Wusu (Joe Wise), acting as Speaker put the motion to a vote and the majority succeeded in overruling last friday’s budget rejection.
Joe Wise, though, came under severe criticism over his decision to include himself as part of members present for a quorum to be formed as required by law in order for the said rescission to be effected.
Hence, yesterday, 1st December 2021, when parliament sat again with both caucuses present, a heated debate ensued with the minority questioning the actions of the 1st deputy speaker, Joe Osei Wusu.
Following an acrimonious debate that stretched for hours, the First Deputy Speaker in his ruling explained that per the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House, he together with the Second Deputy Speaker are Members of Parliament who only assist the Speaker of Parliament in the discharge of his duties when the need arises.
“I have not heard anything here today [Wednesday] which was not discussed yesterday [Tuesday]. All the arguments today were practically the arguments made yesterday [Tuesday]. There are a few matters which I wish to clarify that 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 of Parliament who shall be elected from the Members of Parliament and to contrast that to Mr. Speaker is not a Member of Parliament.”
However, many have wondered why Mr. Osei Wusu could have the authority to overturn the decision of the Speaker if he claims he is not a speaker.
After shameful exchanges on the floor of the house which nearly resulted in fisticuffs, the house was adjourned to today in the forenoon.