The Majority in Parliament has described as unfortunate, the directive from Speaker Alban Bagbin to the Minister for Finance to account for monies approved by Parliament for fighting COVID-19 before a €75 million loan is approved for similar purposes.
The Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh contends that the Speaker misread the mood of the house before issuing such summons.
Addressing the matter in a Citi News interview, Annoh-Dompreh indicated that the Speaker went beyond his remit in issuing such a directive.
“The Speaker has no persona of his own. Such a decision has to be the sense of the house. He [Speaker] cannot communicate his own decision, especially when he is not a Member of Parliament. The sense of the house at that moment is that the question should not be put, but it wasn’t that the Finance Minister must first come to the house to render account,” he said.
“Nobody is shying away from accountability, but that wasn’t what the house was saying. When the Majority Leader returns, we are going to engage the Speaker. Going forward we don’t want to have any banter with the speaker but where we think that things need to be straightened we will find a diplomatic way of reaching to ensure that we have peace for the progress and execution of the work of parliament,” he added.
He also indicated that an outstanding amount of GHS 25 million from the goods and services budget of Parliament had been released.
The Speaker complained about financial constraints in the House on Thursday, accusing the Ministry of Finance of stifling the House of funds.
But according to Annoh-Dompreh, the funds had been released and were being processed at the time the Speaker made the comments.
“When Speaker was lamenting, official releases had been effected, and it was just going through the process… It was just a matter of a few hours for it to hit Parliament’s account. The Speaker’s statement was a bit presumptuous and if he had exercised a bit of restraint, he may not have made the comment that Parliament is broke,” he said.
Source: Modern Ghana