The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has made it clear to Members of Parliament, especially the Majority Caucus that boycotting parliament does not stop the business of the house.
While presiding over the House on Thursday, December 16, 2021 after his return form medical checkup at Dubai, the Speaker noted that “the staging of a walk out does not render parliament incapable of performing its functions.”
“I can refer to so many instances where walkouts and boycotts have never succeeded in delaying or preventing the business of the house,” he stated.
The Speaker’s comment was in reaction to how Members on the Majority side of Parliament staged a walkout during processes to approve the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in the House on Friday, November 26, 2021.
Reacting to how the First Deputy Speaker led the House to rescind the rejection of the 2022 Budget, Speaker Bagbin disclosed that what Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu did while acting as Speaker, amounts to an act of insubordination.
The speaker also made clarifications on the distinction between the temporal absence of a speaker and the unavoidable absence of the speaker.
According to him, when a speaker temporarily leaves the chair and calls on his 1st or 2nd Deputies to preside, the person who presides remains part of the House and a Member of Parliament.
He went further to explain that when the Speaker is unavoidably absent and leaves the business of the house in the hands of his deputies, any of the deputies presiding assumes the full responsibilities of speaker and cannot call himself a Member of Parliament at the time he presides.