Broke Parliament: Don't counter me again — Bagbin to Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has warned the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu not to undermine his position as the chair in the House.

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin

He warned him not to counter him as the Speaker of Parliament in media interviews.

This comes after Bagbin said Parliament does not have money at the moment to run most of its programmes.

According to him, the delay has led to the House being broke and in need of adequate funds to run its operations.

Presiding over Parliamentary proceedings on Thursday, May 26, 2022, Bagbin said the dire financial constraints Parliament has been plunged into and cautioned the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta against treating Parliament like a Ministry or a District Assembly.

He said "It's not easy. So, sometimes we see your requests for me to approve for you to do some things, but I had declined. It’s not because I love declining your requests; it’s because we don't have the wherewithal to fund those operations. I think the Minister of Finance should not treat Parliament like a Ministry or MMDA – I will emphasize this again."

He stated that "This is an arm of government; we are not part of the MMDAs. We have even been written to, to reduce our budget in some areas, by 50% and so if they want Parliament to run aground, they should let us know. The Speaker is not ready and prepared to be blamed for the inability to get Parliament work going on just because we are not getting the necessary funds. Others will have some hesitation saying this; I don't have."

The Majority in Parliament accused Bagbin of impatience following his claim that Parliament is broke.

The Majority Chief Whip Frank Annor-Dompreh addressing the press disclosed that an outstanding GH¢25 million has been released to Parliament.

"These delays are not new to Parliament more often than not a lot has been done by the Leadership here I am talking about the two leaders.

"I was in touch with the Majority Leader before he left for Kumasi he gave me a heads-up in terms of what communication had gone on the releases to Parliament. He tells me that the Clark of Parliament and the Chief Accounts Officer, Dan so they all have foreknowledge of the processes involved in the fact that the releases have been done. I am talking about the 25 million Ghana cedis outstanding for goods and services to Parliament," he added.

Bagbin also took strong exception to such pronouncements from Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.

He said the Majority leader must appreciate that he is the Speaker of the House until members decide to change him or his tenure ends.

He said "In Ghana parliament is not supreme it is subject to the constitution and so it is important that when the Speaker speaks from the chair, the leader of the House is not seen to be the one countering what the spokesperson of the arm of government says and if they want us to give documentary evidence of the non-funding of the house for this year we will provide that.

"So when I heard that a leader of the house has gone on air to say that what I said is not true it saddens me. In response to what I said yesterday, the government proceeded to release money yesterday and there is evidence of that."

"I will not take the majority leader who is going on air to counter what I said particularly when I said it in this chair. I will not take that I am in control here and I will continue to be in control until my term of office ends or you decide otherwise as members to remove me as Speaker of the house by the votes of three-quarters of members of Parliament. Please This is the last time I will refer to it and this is enough notice to whoever thinks he has the same authority as the Speaker. Enough is enough," he stressed.

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