Relentless social media insults and accusations of the Speaker of Parliament of being soft on the government, according to the Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu and the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin are getting under the skin of the Speaker.
He spoke of how Speaker Alban Sumani Kingsford Bagbin had suddenly ended discussions he was having with the leadership and government officials because he claimed a certain Kelvin Taylor was insulting him in a clip broadcast on Facebook.
They had gone to his office as leadership of the house, to discuss how things should be done on the afternoon of Friday, November 26, 2021, the day for the approval of the government’s fiscal policy, but midway through the discussions, he said:
“Mr. Speaker said there is a video that Kevin Taylor is insulting him that he was supporting the government to pass a budget and his own people were insulting him.”
“These were his words. So, he suddenly gave up on the engagement and said that he was going to get robed and get into the chamber.”
Mr. Afenyo-Markin, speaking on an Accra radio, said he was inclined to believe that it was the social media insults and accusations of being soft, that led to the tough position Mr. Bagbin took on the 2022 budget.
“He said his people were insulting him and they have reported him to Kevin Taylor, and there is a video and he is insulting him.”
The minority side, with its 137 members, went ahead to reject the 2022 budget and the Speaker ruled that the budget had been rejected by Parliament.
MPs from the majority side, who had left the chamber at the time Speaker Bagbin took the vote on the budget, accused the Speaker of acting in breach of the Constitution since 137 members out of the 275-member parliament could not by any stretch of imagination be said to represent half of the membership of the house, required by law to take such decisions.
Before the business to approve or disapprove started the following were the remarks made by Mr. Bagbin: “I am saying that the suspension was for 30 minutes but it has taken us two hours or more to return, and that is because, the subject matter that we are to discuss, there has been a new development and, as Speaker, I have to be briefed.
So, your leaders came with the Minister for Finance to brief me.
Should I ignore them and come and preside because I have suspended sitting for 30 minutes? Go through the media and see how I am being insulted.
Please, the only thing I have is my reputation. Please let us be honorable members of parliament.”
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