Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has taken a wild swing at Members for the offensive events that unfolded on the floor of the House in the early hours of January 7, 2021 during the speakership election.
Mr. Bagbin expressed deep regret, both as a former Member of Parliament and a citizen at the unruly behaviour and commotion that took place in the chamber of the House.
The events, he said, were despicable conduct unbecoming of people of honour and stressed that there was no justification or reasonable excuse for the dishonourable conduct of the lawmakers.
The Speaker also condemned the presence of the armed soldiers on the floor, and the breaches of the sanctity of the voting, which would otherwise have attracted severe punishment.
Addressing members last Friday when Parliament reconvened for its first business, Mr Bagbin warned that the spectacle of that historic day would never be repeated.
“Certainly not on my watch. I take a strong exception to such conduct and behaviour and urge Leadership to take a serious view of it and take the necessary measures to restore the lost dignity of the august House”, he entreated.
The events, Speaker Bagbin pointed out, are at variance with the message of the 2020 general elections.
According to him, Ghanaian voters sent a loud and clear message to the political class when they voted to deny the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) single-party absolute control of the legislative branch.
He pointed out that 137 seats for NPP and 137 for NDC with one Independent, a clear decision of no single party with Majority Party and Minority Party in Parliament, was a call for the legislature to chart a new path and embark on new ways of transacting Parliamentary business, and business of the people.
“I urge the leadership of both sides of the House to put their heads together to smooth out any bottlenecks or challenges that may impede the conduct of business in the House.
“The message that these results convey, I believe, may be summed up in the common expression ‘enough is enough’. Or to put it differently, ‘No more business as usual,’” he said.
According to the Speaker, the Ghanaian people, in the way they voted in the 2020 elections, have signalled their frustration and disapproval of the ‘party first’ mind-set and the associated unbridled partisanship and partisan polarization that have taken root in the country’s body politic.