Comments not to challenge Speaker — Majority Leader

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has explained that his comments on the release of budgetary allocations to Parliament are not to challenge the Speaker’s position on the finances of Parliament.
“Apparently, some communication was made to the Speaker that what I said contradicted him so on and so forth,” he said.



“So, Mr Speaker, that is the true position as I did indicate, and as I said, it was not intended to downwash what the Speaker had put out there,” he stated.

Context

Last Thursday, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, indicated that Parliament was broke as it had not received its financial releases from the Ministry of Finance.

But in a radio interview last Friday, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said he was aware GH¢25 million had been released to Parliament.


In response to that, Mr Bagbin expressed displeasure about the Majority Leader often countering statements made by him (Speaker) in the Chamber.
He indicated that the GH¢25 million released last Thursday was part of the GH¢84 million arrears for 2021.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained that, “I was not in the House. It seems there was some communication mishap, on account on which Mr Speaker made some statements relating to some information I had said in the public space.

“I consider it as unfortunate; however, it was born out of miscommunication and I did not go out there to contradict the Speaker. I spoke to what I knew and I believe that we can move forward as a body,” he said.

He subsequently suggested that the leadership of Parliament and the Speaker invite the Minister of Finance and the Controller and Accountant General so that going forward, those occasional hitches would not recur.

First quarter

Mr Bagbin explained that out of the GH¢54 million budgeted for parliamentary business for the first quarter of this year, only GH¢7 million had been released.

He called for constant meetings of leadership and the Speaker and also with the President and the Controller and Accountant General to stop Parliament being considered as part of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“We are not in that category. Parliament is an arm of government and if we fail to function, then the whole democracy fails in the country,” the Speaker stated.

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