The Majority leader in parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has revealed that prior to the election of the Speaker of Parliament, some members of the NPP were opposed to the nomination of Prof Mike Oquaye.
Speaking on The Probe, he said that some of the members held some grudges against the former Speaker and thought he was not best suited for the position.
“Someone had told me that some of our people were planning a coup d’etat against the speaker Prof Mike Oquaye. For some, it was for some personal things that they said he had done against them.”
“One of them said he was to travel out and when he went to the Speaker, he cancelled it and said he would not allow him (the MP) to go. I didn’t think it was such an issue as to maybe agitate a person whether not to vote for the speakership or whoever had been nominated.”
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said that others had said that Prof Oquaye was getting to the “twilight of his life” where physical weakness had set in thus he should not be maintained as Speaker.
Others, he said, claimed that the President nominated somebody from the legal Bench to be Speaker, adding that “some were saying that more or less an assurance had been given him that he was going to be put up as a Speaker if we won.”
The Majority Leader said after hearing these concerns, he met with his members on January 3, to convince them they needed someone as Speaker whom the President and the party could work with.
He stated that although no one raised an objection then he later found out some of the members were still not convinced about voting for Prof Mike Oquaye despite his pleads.
“We summoned a second meeting. I pleaded passionately to my colleagues. I was convinced and persuaded that on account of what I had told them that second time nothing was going to be left to chance and then it happened the way it did. I was disappointed.”
Former MP for Nadowli Kaleo, Alban Sumana Bagbin of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was elected Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic on January 7, after a chaotic, closely contested secret ballot against Prof. Mike Ocquaye.
Following the “turbulent” turn of events, Mr Bagbin emerged winner by what was believed at the time to be a majority vote.
However, Mr Kyei-Mensah told Emefa Apawu that Alban Bagbin did not win the election by majority vote.
According to him, “Ocquaye’s was supposed to be 137 and one of them turned out to be a spoilt ballot, so, how can you say that the remaining 138 all belong to Bagbin?”
He insisted that Mr Bagbin was selected to be the Speaker by consensus of the leadership, “we didn’t mention any numbers.”
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