Speaker Alban Bagbin has said his First Deputy, Mr Joe Osei-Owusu (Joe Wise), misconducted himself when he counted himself among the MPs on the floor during November 30’s Majority-side-alone sitting – despite presiding over the business of the house – to, ostensibly form a quorum to justify the overturning of the Minority-side-alone sitting’s rejection of the 2022 budget, over which he (Mr Bagbin) presided before flying to Dubai for medical review.
He said the Bekwai MP did not have the mandate to overturn his (Speaker’s) ruling on the budget.
“As to whether a vice-president can preside over a cabinet, which had earlier taken a decision on a subject matter presided over by the president, and without consulting the president, rescind the decision earlier taken, is for your kind debate as instructed. But who am I to say my deputy, the First Deputy Speaker, the Honorable member for Bekwai Constituency, Honorable Joseph Osei-Owusu, Joe Wise, might have indulged in an act of misconduct tantamount to insubordination?” the Speaker said on Thursday, 16 December 2021 during his first sitting after returning from Dubai.
Read below the Speaker’s full address to parliament on Thursday:
Formal Statement by the Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin Speaker of Parliament, on the rejection or rescission of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government
Hon Members, before I proceed to address the topic of my official communication, permit me to praise and glorify the Almighty God/Allah, my fortress and my Lord, for the travelling mercies and the regeneration and renewal of my body and life. Thanks be to you, oh Lord, the creator and master of the universe. I am eternally grateful to you for your grace and love.
I also thank Hon Members for holding the fort in my absence, despite the fact that the conduct of some Members raises fundamental issues bordering on a complete disregard of parliamentary practice, procedure and process of the House. I have taken my time to read the Order Paper, Votes and Proceedings and the Official reports of the days in issue. And i am convinced we should accept the view of the conscience of the nation that we owe Ghanaians an apology and I will proceed to do just that.
As the Head of Parliament, the voice of the Legislature, who speaks for and on behalf of parliament, hence the title Speaker, I, with all humility apologise on behalf of the house and all members, for the aberrations of conduct and behaviour of members on those days. I take responsibility for what happens in the House and I believe the House is neither dignified or exalted by that rancorous and unruly behaviour of members.Ipromise to do everything within my power and authority to lead the House to chart a path of transformation, decency and change, change for the better.
The conduct of members on those days also touches on the legality of the decisions arrived at in the House and how we arrived at those decision It will help for members to look at these issues dispassionately,in humility, devoid of egos and partisanship. As a House of honour, dignity and measureless might and majesty, member of Parliament, should, for a while, allow the 1992 Constitution, the enabling laws, precedents and the Standing Orders of the House to lead the way.