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We are pushing for amendments to elect sitting MP as Speaker – Majority Leader

Alban Bagbin and Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

Mon, 14 Mar 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, has disclosed that there is a push for Constitutional amendments to who becomes a Speaker of the House.

According to him, there are moves to secure changes to the law to make the position of Speaker, a role reserved for the sitting MPs.

In an interview with journalists late last week, he stressed that the Speaker enjoyed privileges that his two deputies do not in terms of his emoluments for instance.

He is quick to point out the restrictions the Speaker also faces because he is unable to represent the House in the regional Parliament.

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“Since our Speaker is not an MP, he cannot go to ECOWAS Parliament. It is the reason some of us have been canvassing for an amendment of the constitution to have a situation where our Speaker will be an elected MP,” he stated.

In addressing the recent ruling by the Supreme Court allowing Deputy Speakers of the House to vote and be counted to form quorum, he expressed agreement citing portions of the 1992 Constitution.

“Article 104 refers just only to the Speaker. It does not provide any inhibition to the Deputy Speakers. So, if you come to provide any inhibition to the Deputy Speaker, then it means it is inconsistent with the constitution,” he emphasized.

He said the 1992 Constitution is clear on the distinction, saying the Speaker is the prime person, who superintends Parliament, and intimated that the constitutional imperative in Article 104 (2) is for the Speaker alone.

He asserted that Article 71 relates to the retirement benefits of the Speaker and it is different to those of the Deputy Speakers, adding “Deputy Speakers are grouped to MPs for the benefits. Article 97 says a Member of Parliament shall vacate his seat, (b) if he is elected the Speaker of Parliament.”

Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also MP for Suame, also told journalists that Bagbin, who is currently in the UAE for medical reasons, is asking for motions to be sent to him for approval and consideration by the House despite his absence.

Read the full ruling of the Supreme Court below:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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