I will disrespect you if you invite me- Fuming Minority Leader tells Speaker

Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah

The Minority Chief Whip says his side will be forced to come before Parliament with a motion to impeach the Speaker, Prof Mike Ocquaye if he doesn’t shed off his partisan colours.

Muntaka Mubarak says even though they do not want to get to that point, they are likely to “draw the battle line” with that motion.

With just 106 members in Parliament, the Minority will need the support of over 50 Majority MPs before the Speaker can be impeached.

With that task almost impossible, Muntaka Mubarak said a motion of impeachment, even if it may not succeed, will make it clear to the Speaker that they can no longer work with him as a Minority.

The latest outburst follows an attempt by the Minority to arrest a motion by the Majority to reduce, under a certificate of urgency, a special tax imposed on petroleum prices.

Muntaka Mubarak said at the time of filing the motion, the House had not formed a quorum. He said several attempts to draw the attention of the Speaker to that fact failed.

According to him, he stood up for several minutes but the Speaker deliberately turned a blind eye, forcing the Minority Leader himself to rise, with an assured hope that at least, his position as the Minority Leader, will be recognized by the Speaker.

He too, was ignored, he suggested. Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Elton John Brobbey who was present in Parliament said the Minority Leader stood up for between two-six minutes but did not catch the eye of the Speaker. But when the Majority Leader rose he was spotted by the Speaker and was given the opportunity to speak.

That did not go down well with Haruna Iddrisu and when he was granted the opportunity to speak, he did not fail to register his protest, laced with threats to disrespect the Speaker in return for disrespecting him.

“I am sad the way you have treated me as Minority Leader. I stood up before the Majority Leader. You owe me that courtesy and that respect. You cannot even after hearing him, you were still not decided whether to hear me or not.

“..May I draw your attention to Order 130 and why I was on my feet. I am within the rules and within the Standing Orders and you must respect the Standing Orders…”

“You owe me every duty and every standard of care to hear me on this. Mr Speaker you are chair of this House and you must hold us together. I don’t want to ever disrespect you but if you invite me, I will.”

He had wanted to draw the Speaker’s attention to the fact that the motion had to go through a second reading before being passed.

Muntaka Mubarak told Joy News’ Evans Mensah, the combined disrespect by the Speaker to him and the Minority Leader is enough testimony that he has become “dictatorial.”

The Minority may not be comfortable to work with him, he stated.

But the Majority Chief Whip Mathew Nyindam said the conduct of the Minority Leader is unacceptable.

“The Minority Leader should not allow youthful exuberance to dictate what words he uses on the floor,” he said.

Nyindam believes Mike Ocquaye has been the Speaker, mostly accommodating of Minority views.

He suspects the Minority is taking leniency of the Speaker to be his weakness.

Commenting on what happened on the floor, he explained that this is not the first time a Speaker had given deference to the Majority Leader even when the Leader of the Minority is on his feet.

According to him, under Speaker Doe Adjaho, the Majority Leader had on many occasions been given the opportunity to speak ahead of the Minority Leader only because the Majority Leader is always considered in the House as the Leader.

He does not understand why the Minority will suddenly raise issues with a practice so usual with Parliament.


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