Speaker of Parliament Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye has refused to adjourn the House indefinitely citing Covid-19 pandemic as reason.
Members of Parliament were supposed to rise sine die (Indefinitely) after today’s sitting.
But Prof. Oquaye in his closing address explained that in view of public health crisis the country finds itself in now, he cannot allow MPs to have holidays. He rather announced an indefinite suspension of sitting to the disagreement of the minority.
The move, according to the speaker, is to make it possible to recall MPs to attend to any Covid-19 emergencies should the need arise without the usual 2 weeks notice associated with the regular recall of Parliament. Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu, however, objected to the move arguing it’s unconstitutional. He explained MPs could be recalled for any emergency even when the house adjourns indefinitely as has always been.
The Tamale South MP accused the speaker of disrespecting the 1992 constitution and standing orders of Parliament.
But majority leader and minister for Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu though conceded the action of the speaker cannot find grounding in the standing orders, cited order 6 which gives the speaker free hand to make determination in matters not captured in the standing orders as basis for the action.
When the suspension was finally taken, the Marshal moved the maze just as happens in cases of adjournments, unlike suspensions where it is left intact. This, the minority contends, points to the confusion in the action of the speaker to suspend parliament and not adjourn as should have been.
The decision resulted in heated exchanges between two sides of the house with the minority leader Haruna Iddrisu revealing the action of the speaker will be challenged at the Apex court of the land.
The Tamale South MP in an address to the media after proceedings described speaker Oquaye as “walking illegality”.
He added the novel Covid-19 is breeding dictators across the world as he warned the nation to be cautious.