Okudzeto Ablakwa cries foul over Speaker’s ‘alien’ ruling

Prof.Oquaye [L] was not pleased Mr. Ablakwa went to the media to discuss the issues before the House
Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has cried foul over a ruling by the Speaker of Parliament Thursday, denying him the opportunity to contribute to a statement on the floor of Parliament.

The North Tongu MP and the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee said the approach adopted by the Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, is “alien” to the House and reduces it to its “lowest”.

According to him, this is the first time that the Speaker ruled on an issue without making any reference to the Standing Orders of Parliament or the Constitution of Ghana.

“What the Speaker has done…is to turn our Standing Orders upside down,” he lamented.

It all started when a Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Habib Tijani, appeared before the House on behalf of the sector minister to brief the MPs on matters of Ghanaian migrants being maltreated at a deportation camp in the US.

Though the rules of Parliament require the Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs Committee to speak on the issue, the Speaker refused to give him the opportunity.

READ: Oquaye gags Ablakwa from speaking on illegal migrant issues in Parliament

‘Urgent in nature’

According to the Speaker, Mr. Ablakwa had already commented on the matter in the media, for which reason he would not be allowed to speak.

But Ablakwa, in a media interview after Thursday’s proceedings, argued that he spoke on the matter in the media because “the matter is urgent in nature”.

He added it is “bizarre” for the Speaker to seem to suggest that parliamentarians should not speak to the media on matters that are urgent.

The North Tongu MP said the Minority will not allow the Speaker get away with his decision, stating: “We will challenge the Speaker’s decision”.

By P.D Wedam|3news.com|Ghana

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