The Minority in Parliament has accused the First Deputy Speaker and the governing New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, of constantly manipulating a lacuna in the Constitution in relation to the proceedings on the floor of Parliament, to the advantage of the Majority Caucus.
A member of the Minority and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the Odododiodio Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Mr Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuije, made these accusations against the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament after a free-for-all fight broke out on the floor on Monday, 20 December 2021, over voting procedures concerning the e-levy.
The Odododiodio MP was speaking in an interview on Accra-based Neat FM.
According to him, the Deputy Speaker’s decision to preside and still cast a vote on the proceedings on the floor is a lacuna that is being manipulated by the First Deputy Speaker.
He said the First Deputy Speaker, over time, has chosen to consistently manipulate the lacuna in the Constitution.
Nii Lante was of the view that any time the First Deputy Speaker presides in the absence of the Speaker, he has no casting vote per Standing Order 1093.
But any time the First Deputy Speaker presides and there is a vote, he wants to manipulate the situation to favour the Majority group, Mr Vanderpuije complained.
He attributed the stalemate on the floor to the lack of leadership on the part of the Majority group.
“The Majority group must be told that this eighth Parliament is not the usual Parliament known to the Majority”, he said.
He added that this is the time for consensus-building and not for manipulation.
He served notice that members of the Minority will not allow the First Deputy Speaker to preside and still have a vote.