The conduct of the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, has come under severe criticism, with the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) threatening to initiate impeachment process against him.
In the view of the NDC MPs, the Speaker has since the inception of the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic, been bias against them, cataloging a number of critical moments where the Rt. Hon. Prof. Oquaye has denied them to either voice out their displeasure or question ministers of state that appear before the legislature to answer to issues relating to their ministry.
“The day before yesterday, when we were doing the motion about the non urgency of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017 and the Zongo Development Fund, I stood up and if you noticed, for a long time he refused to call me. What I wanted to say was that the process we were using was wrong. Because the constitution under Article 106 (13) says that it has to be done by a committee but they wanted us to do was to ask the House whether they agree or not. The constitution didn’t say that the House has to decide but rather the Committee that has to do that. So, I decided to draw his attention to that.
When that failed, yesterday in the morning, I went to him and when he came I raised these things that
Mr. Speaker we are not happy about the way things are going. We argued and ended it and I thought he has taken a cue. Mine was not the first.
If you remember it is the same problem when Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader stood up for almost fifteen minutes and the Speaker will not call him. We raised this objection with him in-camera in his holding room. How many times must we remind and I remember in one instance, the Majority Leader, Hon. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had to lead the Minority to talk to the Speaker about our displeasure over the way he is handling our issues.
How many times do we have to do that? When we respect the chair and we come to you in your holding room and for the past six months we are just being frustrated. We have used all avenues to address it but it is failing. So we are left with no other option than to vent our anger on the floor.
So, you have to understand us. Just yesterday we drew his attention to it and in less than 24 hours, he is repeating it. What else does he want us to do? It is out of respect for the chair that we are not using all those avenues that we have.
But if we are pushed to the wall, we will be left with no option than to trigger all the avenues that are available to Members of Parliament – that if the Speaker is not being mindful, we will use any of them. If you look at our Standing Orders, there are many avenues and we will use it. We have the numbers to do whatever that we want to do,” Minority Chief Whip, Hon. Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka noted.