NDC MPs behaviour cannot be accommodated - Majority Leader

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu speaking on the latest development said it was about time the Minority behave properly in Parliament

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His comment comes at the back of accusations levelled against the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye with the Minority describing him as a threat to democracy.

The Minority on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 walked out of Parliament over the Speaker’s decision to forward the motion to withdraw the 2015 AMERI deal to the House’s Energy Committee.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu speaking to the press after they walked out of the Chamber said, "We [Minority] had no option than to protest the manner in which he (Speaker) is endangering parliamentary democracy and its practice."

But Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu speaking on the latest development said it was about time the Minority behave properly in Parliament.

The Majority Leader said he believes strongly that his colleagues are not subjecting themselves to the rules of the House, hence, their behavior towards the Speaker.

Quoting Orders 91(a), 92(2) and Order 6 of the Standing Orders of the House to buttress his argument, he said for a Member to disagree with the Speaker, the process to follow is to come with a motion to challenge the decision of the Speaker.

Order 91(a) of the Standing Orders of Parliament states that "Debates may be interrupted by a point of order being raised," while Order 92(2) states that “When a point of order has been stated, the Member interrupting shall resume his seat and except by leave of Mr. Speaker has decided the matter. When effect has been given to the decision, where necessary, the Member who was speaking shall be entitled to proceed with his speech unless the decision prevents him."

Order 6 of the Standing Orders of the House on the other hand also states that "In all cases not provided for in these Orders, Mr. Speaker shall make provisions as he deems fit."

"I think my colleagues are not subjecting themselves to the rules of Parliament. And they want to be granted exemptions of the rules. That certainly cannot be accommodated. So, we are talking about the rules of procedure. Parliament is a House that makes laws and we ourselves are governed by laws. So, at that stage, we were dealing with procedure. He [Haruna Iddrisu] was talking about a judgment that has been passed and the fact that Parliament of today cannot talk about anything decided by Parliament of yesterday. I don’t know where that is coming from. We are not there yet but when we get there, we will litigate that sufficiently and Ghanaians will know that they have no footings at all. They are on wobbling legs," he stated.

The Majority Leader added that "We make bills and a new Parliament will come and to make an amendment. So, when a new bill comes … like today, we have introduced the Northern Development Authority Bill which has been referred to a committee. There is a standing authority now which is SADA. If this new bill comes to be adopted by Parliament, what will be the effect? It will be to repeal the old Act, the Savannah Accelerated Development Act, isn’t that the case? And what is the import of it? That Parliament has rescinded its decision – that is the effect of it. There are many examples and as I have said we will not exhaust what is contained in the bag until we get there."

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