Budget Approval: Joe Wise’s conduct raises procedural challenge – Speaker

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Joe Wise, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has expressed reservations about the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei-Owusu’s decision to count himself while presiding over proceedings.

According to Mr Bagbin, Mr Osei-Owusu erred on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

He made these remarks when he presided over his first proceedings on Thursday after a break for medical review.

He noted although the Bekwai Member of Parliament was not wrong in upholding his membership while acting as Speaker, his decision to be counted during the formation of a quorum was problematic.

“The 1st Speaker for the period of my unavoidable absence in Parliament was the acting Speaker of Parliament, and thus all rules and limitations apply to him in a manner that applies to a substantive Speaker of Parliament.

“By and large, the reasoning of the 1st Deputy Speaker outlining the fact that he is not the Speaker [and that] he holds his membership and thus does not lose his privileges as a member when he takes the chair can be said to be correct,” he explained.

He, However, added, “So far as he takes on the role of the acting Speaker of Parliament, his decision to be counted as part of the numbers forming a quorum raises procedural challenges.”

A headcount by the Clerk of Parliament captured that there were 137 Members of Parliament made up of only the Majority side present for the business of the day.

But Mr Osei-Owusu, who presided over the proceedings, argued he was also present, bringing the total to 138.

He subsequently agreed for a motion to be moved to overturn the rejection of the 2022 budget.

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