Bagbin rebukes MPs; says it’s contempt when the Speaker is talking and they are also talking

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has warned Members of Parliament (MPs) during proceedings in the House on Thursday March 31 to keep quiet and listen to him when he is speaking.

He indicated that interjecting the Speaker when he is speaking amounts to Contempt of Parliament, adding that he will be compelled to start citing MPs who engage in that behaviour for contempt of court.

“When the speaker is talking and you are also talking, that is contempt,” he said.

“In the coming days, I will be forced to mention names and that is a serious,” he added.

There was heated debate among lawmakers in the House due to some errors that occurred on the votes and proceedings during the approval of the e-levy on Tuesday March 29.

Mr Bagbin apologized to the MPs for the errors after admitting that indeed the errors did occur. He took ultimate responsibility for the mistakes.

He said on the floor on Thursday March 31 that the clerk is only a civil servant and asked that claims that the clerk is partisan be deleted from the records.

“If you look at the attendance book definitely, there are errors, I will take responsibility and apologize to members for these errors,” he said.

Mr Bagbin further indicated that there is no perfect votes and proceedings which is an official report capturing Parliamentary debate, anywhere in the world.

Errors, he said, are anticipated to occur hence, provisions have been made available to correct those mistakes.

He said this after the Minority had said errors were made on the votes of proceedings for Tuesday’s sitting when the e-levy was approved by the House.

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The Speaker commended the Minority lawmakers for bringing this up for the necessary corrections to be made.

“There not votes and proceedings anywhere that are perfects,” Mr Bagbin said adding that “…the draft is brought to the house giving opportunity to members to right the wrongs that they have been captured on the votes and proceedings.”

“So rightly you have come and corrected, what you have done is right, we will go through properly and correct the errors,” he said.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmakers have sued the Attorney General following the approval of the e-levy by Parliament on Tuesday March 29.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu described the approval as illegal and unconstitutional because in their view, the Majority did not have the right numbers to pass it.

“This is a charade,” he said at a press conference in Parliament, adding that “there is no E-levy.”

“The majority of less than 137 conducting businesses only proceeded on illegal and unconstitutional business. Parliament did not have the numbers to take any decision that should binding Parliament and Ghanaians,” he added.

They therefore decided to sue over the development.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana