Member of Parliament for Bongo, Edward Bawa has stated that it will be disturbing for First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu alias Joe Wise to be allowed to occupy the seat of Speaker of Parliament.
His comments are in relation to Joe Wise’s declaration on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, that he was a deputy Speaker and not the Speaker of the House.
The Bekwai MP said that in response to a challenge by the Minority that as long as he presides over the House in the absence of Speaker Alban Bagbin, he cannot count himself as part of the quorum of the house.
Speaking to a Joy News journalist in Parliament on Thursday, December 2, 2021, Bawa said: “If the person who is supposed to hold the forum says I am not the person, it tells us that whoever comes there in the form and shape of Joseph Osei- Owusu is an imposter and so we will not be comfortable with that.
“We are only holding him to his own words that he is not the speaker…Since that particular unfortunate incident, he himself has not had the courage to come and preside over any plenary,” he said in reaction to Joe Wise’s failure to take the seat since that declaration.
“I think Ghanaians should not be comfortable with a person they have entrusted with power and he says no I’m not the one who is supposed to have that power.
“There must be a willingness on your side to act In a particular position before the State can entrust that room for you. If he comes to preside over sittings, it will be a betrayal of his own position,” he added.
Parliament’s 2022 budget and Joe Wise’s controversial move
Parliament’s rejection on November 26, 2021, of the 2022 budget statement and subsequent recision of that decision and passage of the budget on November 30, 2021, has raised a number of legal issues.
In the case of the rejection, there is the argument that there was no quorum in the first place for the said vote to be valid. The official count on the day was 137 MPs voting to reject the ballot.
The session was led by Speaker Alban Bagbin, who in a social media post insists that there were 138 MPs in the house of 275 despite the Majority Group walking out.
Four days later when the Majority moved to rescind the rejection, the presiding Speaker’s decision to count himself as the 138th MP despite acting as Speaker has also been challenged as illegal. He defends it as valid stressing that he did not vote.
A journalist cum lawyer has filed a motion at the Supreme Court seeking an invalidation of the November 26 process that resulted in a rejection of the budget.