Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak says allowing Speaker Alban Bagbin to go ahead and refer MPs, suo moto, to the Privileges Committee will be akin to shooting oneself in the foot.
According to him, this could serve a dangerous precedent which could come back to haunt Parliament in the future, thus has called on all MPs on both sides of the aisle to support him in opposing it.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express he noted that allowing Alban Bagbin get his way will pave way for future Speakers to abuse their authority by referring MPs to the Privileges Committee at their own whims and caprices without following due process.
“This is the challenge, today it may be Bagbin, could you imagine that the Speaker we have is a Speaker on the Majority side with this numbers, and we allow what Speaker Bagbin is attempting to do to stay, believe me, and whichever group are in the Minority will really really have a run for their money.
“Because he’ll just get up and get civil society write petition then he’ll refer you to privileges, this one writes to Speaker then he refers you to Privileges… that is why I want to believe that the framers of our standing orders are mindful of this that’s why they said it should be a member.
“So if we all just think that – that’s why I said it on the floor, because today it is Kennedy Agyapong, today its Henry Quartey, Adwoa Safo let’s do it to them, tomorrow when we get a dictatorial Speaker he will deal with members. I mean even if you challenge him and there’s some little breach he will just send you to Privileges,” he explained.
He noted that should the current number division of Parliament remain in the future, it will be significantly difficult for those who find themselves in the Minority should they have to come against a dictatorial Speaker.
He further noted the same unparliamentary procedure could be used against Members of the Minority side during their current tenure, and there will be nothing they can do to oppose it then.
“I’m talking about fairness and equity. The danger is that because of the way our number is if you allow an unjust, or an unfair, in my view, process to be meted out some people and you sit and laugh it could be a preparation ground.
“What you forget is that what if it is just to do three and later do ten on our side and then you’ll be caught with double standard. ‘O because it was our side you kept quiet and you were celebrating it. Today it’s being done to you and you’re screaming to the roof top’. That is part of the reason why,” he said.
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