Minority boycotts parliamentary proceedings


The Minority in Parliament, has boycotted proceedings on the floor, following the failure of the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye to recognise Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Mr. Kwame Governs Agbodza after rising up to speak.


The Minority accused the Speaker for being bias after Mr. Agbodza stood on the floor of Parliament for almost twenty minutes, to comment on a Constitutional Instrument (CI) that was laid by the Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee, Mr. Mahama Ayariga.

Mr. Agbodza was however, not recognised and subsequently, the Speaker proceeded to pose the question for the adoption of the report pursuant to the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Mr. Agbodza, in the quest to make his submission, stood until the Finance Committee Chairman, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, laid a loan facility at the Plenary for adoption.

Thereafter, the Finance Committee’s report was seconded by the House, and Mr. Agbodza was asked to make his submission on the floor.

Mr. Agbodza pointed out that he wanted to draw Prof. Oquaye’s attention to the number of Members of Parliament present at the time of laying the report of C.I. 109 on the creation of the new regions, which is of much importance.

Mr. Agbodza questioned the Speaker’s refusal to recognise his presence when he stood for almost twenty minutes.

Describing the action of the Speaker as unconstitutional and tyrannical, Mr. Agbodza emphasised the Standing Orders and the Constitution that mandates the formation of a quorum in the commencement of government business at the Plenary.

Minority’s objection

The Minority in Parliament averred that Prof. Mike Ocquaye has, time without number, been disrespectful to Minority members and did not hesitate to register their protest during a debate on the proposed creation of the new regions.

In an emergency press briefing by the Minority, Leader of the caucus, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, stated that the Speaker once again failed to acknowledge their presence anytime they rose on the floor to put their arguments across.

Mr. Iddrisu pointed out that the conduct of the Speaker necessitated their action to embark on a walkout exercise as stipulated in the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Majority’s response

The Majority in Parliament held an emergency press briefing to condemn the conduct of the Minority, describing it as disrespect.

In a rebuttal to the the Minority’s emergency press briefing, the Majority Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, emphasised that it was against the rules of the House for Mr. Agbodza to call the Speaker a tyrant.

Premising his argument on similar precedents, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu pointed out that in time past, some Speakers swirl their chair to one side, with the intention of denying the other side of the House attention, to make their contributions to a debate.

Addressing the media after the sitting, Mr. Osei-Kye-Mensah Bonsu accused the Minority of failing to apply themselves to the provisions in the Constitution.

“We work with rules and people should learn the rules before they make demands that cannot be substantiated,” he said.

The Standing Orders and the Constitution on a quorum

Order 48 of the Standing Orders of Parliament states that one-third of the House should be present to form a quorum at the commencement of business and adoption of reports presented at the Plenary.

The 1992 Constitution also makes it clear, as the formation of a quorum of one-third of Members of Parliament present.

Article 102 of the 1992 Constitution stipulates, “a quorum of Parliament, apart from the person presiding, shall be one-third of all the members of Parliament”.

One-third of the 275 Members of Parliament should constitute 92 members to transact business at the Plenary.

However, as at the time the report on the C.I. 109 was laid and adopted, only 64 Members of Parliament were available at the time of the report presentation.

Source: GhanaJustice/S.Ayisi


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