Ras Mubarak, a former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, has expressed surprise at some Members of Parliament (MPs) criticizing Speaker Alban Bagbin’s decision to report three New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs to the Privileges Committee for absenting themselves without permission.
He claimed that Parliament’s reputation has deteriorated to the point that lawmakers should seize this opportunity to improve it.
During House proceedings, Muntaka Mubarak, the Member of Parliament for Asawase of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), questioned Mr Bagbin’s decision to submit the MPs to the privileges committee.
Mr Bagbin referred the NPP MPs on Tuesday, April 5, after receiving a petition accusing them of missing more than fifteen sittings of Parliament without authorisation.
Kennedy Agyapong, who represents Assin Central, Sarah Adwoa Safo, who represents Dome Kwabenya, and Henry Quartey, who represents Ayawaso Central, are the MPs.
Muntaka disputed the Speaker’s decision, claiming that allowing it to stand would set a dangerous precedent that may be exploited by a “dictator speaker” in the future to harm legislators.
“If we let this remain, it will set a precedent, and tomorrow it could damage us all,” he warned.
However, in response to Muntaka’s proposal, the Speaker justified his choice, saying, “You don’t want the speaker to be a dictator, but you’re willing to let committees to be dictators.” That’s all there is to it after the committee makes its decision.
“This is a matter before the House, not simply the Committee.” I can’t just come in and sit here and announce a seat vacant without going through the proper channels.”
He went on to say that the topic would be presented to the House, which would then make a decision based on the report.
“You are so directed, privilege’s committee, address the case, and report back to the House,” Mr Bagbin added.
“If they disagree with the Speaker’s decision, they know what to do,” Ras Mubarak, who petitioned the Speaker against these MPs, said in an interview with TV3. The house rules are explicit, the Speaker is the adjudicator, and the Speaker is vested with authority. Remember, we’re talking about a speaker who has been in office for 28 years and has a wealth of knowledge about Parliament’s traditions and procedures.”
“MPs have no right to complain about the speaker’s method,” he continued. They had the opportunity and time to call out their colleagues who were breaking the laws of the country, but they lacked the necessary courage to do so.
“A Parliament’s image has plummeted so low that there is an opportunity to rehabilitate Parliament’s tarnished reputation.” I’m shocked they’re trying to criticize the process now that they’ve had the chance.”