A Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Habib Iddrisu, is asking the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, to let them know if he can no longer preside over the business of the house so they find another Speaker.
The Speaker of Parliament on Monday, December 20, 2021, during proceedings of the house asked the First Deputy Speaker to take the chair and never returned to the seat until the house adjourned on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
The debate on the controversial e-levy bill in Parliament was expected to bring finality to an arguably long-standing disagreement over the 2022 Budget, but it ended up in a brawl as some MPs exchanged blows also in his absence.
Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader, while addressing the press on Monday, December 20, 2021, said the absence of Alban Bagbin throughout the first part of the sitting appears to be part of a grand plan by the minority to frustrate the approval of the bill.
“We will not proceed to take decisions without Mr. Speaker. We need him in the House because by the technicalities of our own procedures, one of our people would have to sit in, and therefore he will not have the opportunity to have his right of voting as a member. Mr. Speaker must show leadership in parliament,” he said.
However, the Minority has rejected the claims by the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander-Afenyo Markin.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, after Parliament adjourned sitting to January 18, 2022, Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi said Alban Bagbin’s absence was purely based on health grounds.
However, the Deputy Majority Chief Whip in an interview asked the Speaker to let the house know if he cannot preside over the house any longer.
He also added that the Majority Caucus will do whatever it can to pass the controversial e-levy when the house resumes, and there is nothing the Minority Caucus can do about it.
“The budget has been approved and the Appropriation Act has also been approved and the Finance Minister can go ahead with his plans, but it is the revenue component of the budget that has to do with the e-levy which hasn’t been approved.”
“So when we return, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin will come and preside and we will have our 138 members and they will also have their 137 and we will pass it. The e-levy is something that we will pass whether they want it or not. They should just tell the Speaker to come and preside, and if he cannot, he should tell us then we will find another Speaker.”