‘Ghanaians’ll hold you accountable for violence in parliament’- Sly to Majority, Minority
Former Member of Parliament and former CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority, Hon. Sylvester Mensah has admonished the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Berkwai Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu to resign or abdicate his position as First Deputy Speaker if he puts higher premium on his right to vote when presiding as speaker.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Hon Sly Mensah indicates that the standing orders of Parliament do not permit a sitting Speaker to vote on any bill or motion before the House. “Ghanaians would hold you and your majority group responsible for any breaches of the Standing Orders of Parliament that may lead to violence in the Chamber”, he further warned.
It would be recalled that a brawl ensued in Parliament last year, between the minority and the majority groups , when Joe Wise, then presiding as speaker, attempted to vote during a late night session to consider the Akufo-Addo government’s electronic transactions tax(E-Levy) bill. Sitting was adjourned due to the chaos.
The bill is expected to be reintroduced in Parliament next week for consideration, and in the absence of the Speaker, either the first or second deputies would chair the session.
Below is the full statement:
If the 1st Deputy Speaker places more premium on his right to vote as an elected Honorable Member of Parliament, which his election as 1st Deputy Speaker debars, the only route open to him is to abdicate or resign as 1st Deputy Speaker to secure his right to vote.
Unfortunately the standing orders do not permit voting by a sitting Speaker – and clearly so. “You can’t eat your cake and have it”
Hon 1st Deputy Speaker, you have a choice. Ghanaians would hold you and your majority group responsible for any breaches of the Standing Orders of Parliament that may lead to violence in the Chamber.