4 times Speaker Bagbin has clashed with Executive arm of government

Bagbin Alban Sumana Kingsford Speaker Of Parliament Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin

Mon, 22 Nov 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Alban Bagbin was sworn in as Speaker on January 7, 2021

He is the first Speaker in Ghana's history to be from the opposition party

Alban Bagbin has been having clashes with the Executive arm of government

The Speaker of Parliament, Right Honourable Alban Bagbin will arguably go down in history as one of the most vocal Speakers in Ghana’s political space judging from his recent showdowns with the executive since his swearing-in.

Many keen observers of Ghana’s political space have attributed this to the wealth of experience he has had in politics as well in the Legislative arm of government.

From serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli Kaleo Constituency through to rising to become majority leader and finally capping it with the feat of becoming speaker, Alban Bagbin is indeed the “Mugabe in Parliament”.

His tenure as Speaker although relatively short, has witnessed several clashes with the executive arm of government.

Below are a few instances;

Cessation of road tolls: The government in the 2022 budget statement presented by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday November 17, 2021 indicated that it will abolish the collection of road tolls in 2022 once the budget is approved. The Roads and Highways Ministry later issued a statement directing the immediate cessation of the collection of road tolls effective Thursday November 18, 2021.

However at a parliamentary sitting on Thursday November 18, 2021, the Speaker Alban Bagbin directed the sector minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, to reverse the directive arguing the 2022 budget which contained government’s intention to abolish collection of road tolls has not been approved by Parliament.

Alban Bagbin said the Minister’s action amounted to a disrespect to parliament and also an empty boast.

Sosu verses the police: The Member of Parliament for Madina Consistency Francis Xavier Sosu has recently been in a tussle with the police over the former’s involvement in leading his constituents to demonstrate against bad roads within his jurisdiction. When the tussle began, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin on November 1, 2021 refused the police’s request to invite the MP for questioning. He indicated at the time the lawmaker would not be available due to engagements with parliamentary works.

The Speaker has on two occasions since then written to the court stating that the Madina MP was out of the country.

Parliament’s budget: The Speaker in 2021, prior to the presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy raised concerns over budgetary allocations to the legislative arm of government and the Judiciary.

After much opposition from the Speaker, President Akufo-Addo reversed the earlier decision to cap the budgetary allocation to Parliament and the Judiciary.

Already for the 2022 budget statement, Alban Bagbin has once again hinted of an impasse between Parliament and the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, in relation to budgetary allocation to the legislature. It is unclear how this will pan out in the coming days.

Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu versus the Speaker: In his early days as Speaker, Alban Bagbin had a friendly altercation with his old-time friend Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu when the latter opposed the Speaker’s decision to refer a petition which was brought by MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga which sought to investigate the collapse of uniBank, to a committee of the House.

The end of the debate sent the whole House into laughter.

“You have to be my friend, not me being your friend. At least, I have a position in Ghana, Number 3. What is your number?” the Speaker quizzed.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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