The Majority in Parliament have told Speaker Alban Bagbin that they are not undermining his authority following their criticism against the way he is managing the matter involving Madina Lawmaker Francis-Xavier Sosu.
Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin said they respect the authority of the Speaker hence, will not reduce his respect in anyway.
“The essence of the position taken earlier by was not in any way to undermine the authority of Mr Speaker, no. He is the one who presides over our assembly and the majority leadership will continue to respect his authority,” the Effutu Member of Parliament said on the floor of the House on Thursday, November 4.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs had in an earlier statement criticized Mr Bagbin, for the way and manner he handled the issues involving Madina Lawmaker Francis-Xavier Sosu.
This comes after Rt Hon Bagbin had denied a request by the Police to release Mr Sosu to them for arrest.
Sosu had led some of his constituents to embark on a demonstration against deplorable roads in his constituency.
The demonstration started peacefully at Danfa around 6:00am but later saw demonstrators burning tyres and mounting roadblocks on the Ayi Mensah-Danfa Road.
Sosu, who has since been charged by the Police, however denied the allegation saying “That any allegation of the Police about my involvement in unlawful blockade of road and destruction of public property is false and an afterthought carefully manufactured by the police to shift attention of the people of Ghana from the key issues of bad roads raised by our protest and demonstration.”
In a letter dated October 28, addressed to the Deputy Director-General of Criminal Investigation Division, F.K. Agyei, the Speaker indicated that due to limitations of Articles 117 and 118 of the 1992 Constitution, Mr Sosu could not be released.
“I am directed by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to inform you that proceedings of the 3rd Meeting of the 1st Session of the 8th Parliament commenced on Tuesday 26th October, 2021 and having regard to the limitations of articles 117 and 118 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic, he is unable to release the Member of Parliament as requested in your letter,” Deputy Director of Legal Services, Nana Tawiah Okyir wrote on behalf of the Clerk of Parliament.
But a statement issued by the Majority in Parliament on Thursday November 4 regarding the Speaker’s response said “The Majority Leadership views the foregoing response by Speaker Bagbin as a troubling departure from how his predecessors handled such requests.
“To avoid doubt, when both Rt Hons Joyce Bamford Addo and Edward Doe Adjaho received those requests during their days in office, they responded by inviting the relevant MPs, held discussions with them, and then asked them to report to the requesting Police or investigative authorities.”
It added “Now the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt Hon Bagbin, appears to be instituting new rules that seem to undermine the Rule of Law without any prior discussions with the Leadership of the House. We ask: What exactly has changed?”