Speaker Bagbin condemns unruly parliamentary behaviour

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Rt. Hon. Speaker Alban Bagbin

Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Bagbin, has condemned the behaviour of some members during last week’s election of Speaker of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic, describing it as “despicable conduct unbecoming of people of honour.

He said he took exception to such conduct and urged the Leadership of the House to take a serious view of it and take the necessary measures to restore the lost dignity of the august House.

In his maiden address to the 275 member House on Friday, Speaker Bagbin expressed the belief that the spectacle of that historic day would not be repeated.

There were rowdy scenes on the floor of the House, as a number of members exhibited unacceptable behaviour such as flaunting of thumb-printed ballot papers during the secret voting, haggling over ballot boxes, name calling, female MP pushing a male MP and sitting on the laps of a male MP, threats to kill, snatching of ballot papers and consequent hot chase in pursuit of the snatcher, and military presence on the floor of the House.

“In addressing the issue of what the people of Ghana expect of this Parliament, I would be remiss if I did not express my deepest regret, both as a former Member of this Parliament and a citizen of this great nation, at the rather unruly behaviour and commotion that took place on the floor of this House, last week,” the Speaker said.

“This include the presence of armed soldiers on the floor, and the breaches of the sanctity of a vote, that would otherwise attract severe punishment in connection with the election of the Speaker of the Eight Parliament.”

“It was, to put it mildly, despicable conduct unbecoming of people of honour. What makes it worse is the total absence of justification or reasonable excuse.”

He said as a Speaker, he would like to believe that the spectacle of that historic day would not be repeated.

“Certainly not on my watch! I take a strong exception to such conduct and behaviour and urge Leadership to take a serious view of it and take the necessary measures to restore the lost dignity of the august House.”

“It is at variance with the message of the 2020 general election,” the Speaker said. — GNA

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