Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh Dompreh has told the Minority in Parliament that any decision taken by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu while he is acting, is on the authority of the Speaker Alban Bagbin.
He said the Deputy Speaker has not exercised any power reserved solely for the Rt. Hon. Speaker in his capacity as a 1st Deputy Speaker, and therefore has not erred in his conduct as the Minority are trying hard to establish regarding the approval of the 2022 budget statement.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh further explained that Mr Osei-Owusu acted on authority of the Speaker and his decision to admit or refuse their motion against the 2022 budget statement is essentially on authority of the Rt. Hon. Speaker.
“Recognizing the delegation of this authority accordingly means the two can therefore not be one and the same,” he said.
His comments come after the Minority in Parliament insists Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu exhibited political bias in not admitting a motion filed by the caucus’s leader, Haruna Iddrisu, on Tuesday, December 7.
The Tamale South Member of Parliament (MP) filed the motion, seeking to overturn the December 1 ruling of Mr Osei-Owusu, who presided over a one-sided House to admit the motion on the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of government moved by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.
In a reply to the Minority Leader, the Clerk to Parliament, Cyril Nsiah, said the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai Constituency “pursuant to Order 13(2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, has directed that I inform you that your motion is not admitted”.
This seems not to have gone down well with the Minority.
“Obviously when Mr Speaker comes, we will take this matter up to possibly submit another motion on it because we believe that [First Deputy Speaker’s] refusal to admit the motion was very bias,” the caucus’s Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, told journalists after a crunch meeting on Monday, December 13.
The Asawase MP was livid Joewise, as the First Deputy Speaker is popularly called, was more politically bias instead of doing the work of a Speaker of Parliament.
He stressed that that action by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP has given the Minority no option than to wait for Alban Sumana Bagbin, a long-time National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP until his election as Speaker, to come for a fresh motion to be filed.
Reacting to him in series of tweets, Mr Annoh-Dompreh who is also Member of Parliament for Nsawam Adoagyiri said “Correspondence between the 1st Dep. Speaker & the Minority Leader is in essence to bring clarity to the substance of the matter. That in my view has very little to do with the error in the date of one letter. Especially since correction has been made.”
“This is simply another desperate attempt of the Minority to extend debate on this matter till the Rt. Hon. Speaker returns, even though the application expired after the decision of the 1st Deputy Speaker. If the Minority wish to further their allegations of a bias ruling, they will soon come to realize that they have no evidence that can be recognized according to our Orders to establish their claims. In all technicality the decision of the Speaker on the application of the minority is primarily valid, and is also not just a decision but a ruling.”
“Rather, To be clear, the Deputy Speaker has not exercised any power reserved solely for the Rt. Hon. Speaker in his capacity as a 1st Deputy Speaker, and therefore has not erred in his conduct as the Minority are trying hard to establish.”
“We ought to respect it as such. Let us not forget that their application was particularly to review ruling, and the Speaker recognizes that Order 79 et al have no bearing on the Speaker’s powers to admit or deny such motion.”
“Particularly, it is obvious that the intention to officially register disapproval of a matter competently decided by the Speaker is followed by the expectation that a reconsideration will occur. However, The Deputy Speakermade reference to Order 13(2) to specifically remind the Minority of his authority as the 1st Deputy Speaker to deal with the application just as was done, and hence, no such review is a viable course of action against the ruling of the Speaker. The basic understanding of the matter is found in the realization.”