The Director of Public Affairs at Parliament says the Leader of the House, is in communication to resolve issues with members following the Minority’s threat to drag the Speaker to the Supreme Court.
The Speaker of Parliament, Mike Ocquaye on Saturday, April, 4, announced an indefinite suspension of the House instead of an adjournment. The Speaker’s reason was that the unprecedented action was Parliament’s response to the general state of national emergency that the country is experiencing.
However, his announcement had been received with agitation and furor by the Minority, who described the action as unacceptable and dictatorial.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrissu, said the Speaker’s action was a subversion of the tenets, values and principles of rule of law and in particular, the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana, as such, may head to the Supreme Court over the actions of the Speaker.
In a letter signed by Kate Addo, she explained that the Speaker’s suspension of the House instead of an adjournment of the meeting was to avoid “the structures of formalities in Order 42 where the where the Speaker would have to consult the House (through the Leaders) before recalling the House.”
By an act of suspension, the House could be recalled at the shortest notice by the Speaker to contribute in any form to the national emergency of the fight against the coronavirus.
She further explained that the Speaker’s action does not amount to proroguing as suggested by the Minority.
“Indeed the Speaker of Parliament is not vested with the power to prorogue Parliament as per Article 113(1) of the Constitution and if any Speaker did that, it will be null and void.”
The Director of Public Affairs has assured Ghanaians that Parliament “places a very high premium on consensus building” and “notwithstanding the misunderstanding and seeming acrimonious note on which the House ended, the Leadership of the House is in communication to resolve the issues for the benefit of the country which remains paramount.”