By Edzorna Francis Mensah
The Speaker of Parliament, S.K. Alban Bagbin has declared that he would not preside over a Parliament to frustrate government business, but he would not preside over a weak Parliament.
According to him, he would not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate Government business, but, “I will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government”.
He said, the House will be fully focused in discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interest of the Ghanaian people are served.
In a statement to address a variety of issues that, happened when he was away for medical attention, Mr. Speaker reminded the MPs to, ‘let us continue to strengthen our channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes we have adopted for our burgeoning democracy to thrive”.
Touching on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government, Speaker said, he was aware of the “letter originating from the Minister for Finance which purports to make some concessions and modifications to the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government”.
He said, the legal basis of the laying of such a letter and what actions Parliament may take as a result leaves a lot to be desired but he however, held discussions with the Leadership of the House to find a path that is faithful to law, respects the rules and processes and ensures the governance of the country does not grind to a halt.
In that vein the Leadership and I, as he disclosed have “agreed that the following steps be taken; The Minister responsible for Finance comes before the House with an amended statement of the Budget with the said modifications and concessions”.
“These modifications and concessions will then be adopted by the House and the revised document with the estimates will stand committed to the various Committees of Parliament”.
The Speaker, therefore, directed the House to reconcile the revised estimates with what they have hitherto considered and submit a report for the consideration of the House.
The Speaker used the opportunity to apologise to Ghanaians over what has happened in his absence.
“The conduct of members on those days also touches on the legality of the decisions arrived at in the House and how we arrived at those decisions.
It will help for members to look at these issues dispassionately, in humility, devoid of egos and partisanship”.
He mentioned that, “as a House of honour, dignity and measureless might and majesty, members of Parliament should, for a while, allow the 1992 Constitution, the enabling laws, precedents and the Standing Orders of the House to lead the way”.
“Members need to think about how to strengthen the work of this House and by extension, strengthen Ghana’s democratic governance.
Members need to consider the precedents we set by every decision and action we take in this House”, according tom Speaker Alban Bagbin.