Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament and the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, have again clashed, this time, over the appointment of Johnson Asiedu Nketia onto the Parliamentary Service Board.
Asiedu Nketia was on Monday, March 29 confirmed as part of the six-member board which is chaired by the Speaker of Parliament.
A special advisory committee report on the appointment had suggested that the appointment of Asiedu Nketia would amount to an intrusion of parliament.
“It is considered by some members of the committee that the membership of Mr Asiedu Nketia amounts to an undesired intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a political party and may not in the circumstances bode well for the independence of Parliament since he is the General-Secretary of a major opposition political party.
“Notwithstanding, Mr Speaker is the person clothed with the authority to appoint the other four persons, who together with the Clerk-to-Parliament constitute the Parliamentary Service Board. It is also our considered opinion that Mr Speaker will do what is appropriate,” the letter as quoted by the Daily Graphic reads.
But Bagbin who expressed heartfelt appreciation to the committee allayed fears that the appointment of Asiedu Nketia is tantamount to the intrusion of Parliament.
“But I want to note that the former Parliamentary Service Board had Honourable Hackman Owusu-Agyeman as a member of the board and Hackman Owusu Agyeman later became the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“That one was not [an] intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a political party. What is good for the gander is also good for the goose. Honourable members the board will be constituted and we will start our work,” he said.
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, however, dissented to the views of Alban Bagbin.
Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said that he disagreed with Alban Bagbin but will not challenge his ruling.
“The reason is if I should challenge every ruling, and maybe there is a debate on it and Mr Speaker’s ruling is brought down, I have succeeded in doing it, inflicting a mortal wound on the chair and that will bring the repute of this House down.
“I will never do that because it is for us to protect the Speakership and I will ever do that. So, I refuse any bait to challenge the ruling of the Speaker,” he said.
Members of the Board
Aside Bagbin and Asiedu Nketia, the other four members of the board are the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Mr Abraham Osei Aidoo, who is a former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament and former Majority Leader and Cyril Nsiah, the Clerk of Parliament.