Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin

The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak has vehemently opposed the Speaker’s decision to refer three Members of Parliament from the Majority side to the Privileges Committee without an application for such an action to be taken by a Member of the House.

He explained that the Standing Orders of the House demand that any application or petition to be considered on the floor of Parliament ought to have been brought forward by a Member of the House or any other person the Orders deem fit.

Unfortunately, he stated, the Speaker does not belong to this category of people.

Reading from Parliament’s Standing Orders on PM Express, he said, “every application to Parliament shall be in the form of a petition and every petition must be presented by a member who shall be responsible for the observance of the rules.”

“So you see if you’re not a member,” he explained, “you’ll not be conversant with these standing orders to apply the rules, and unfortunately Speaker is not a member of parliament. So yes, people can write petitions to him, that is why almost all petitions that have been written to Speakers many of them don’t get to be on the floor.”

He stated that as has been the case in other circumstances where Speakers have found petitions of interest, they have directed the petitioner who is not a Member of the House, to present their petition to their Member of Parliament for the MP to present the petition on their behalf.

“So if Speaker has received petitions, talking about Kennedy Agyapong, Henry Quartey and Adwoa Safo, the Speaker himself, suo moto, I disagree cannot bring the matter on the floor. A member of parliament who feels very convinced about these infractions will raise it,” he said.

The Minority Chief Whip says allowing Speaker, Alban Bagbin’s petition to get to the Privileges Committee would set a dangerous precedent which will haunt Parliament in the future.

He is, therefore, filing a countermotion to challenge the Speaker’s decision.