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‘I didn’t snatch Speaker’s seat; I was only preserving it’ – Ashaiman MP

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The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman Constituency, Ernest Norgbey, has defended his action of snatching the seat of the Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 after chaos broke out in the House.

The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu overruled a motion by the Minority Caucus to overturn the approval of the 2022 Budget statement and economic policy.

This led to confusion and chaos in the House during which the MP was seen snatching the seat of the Speaker of Parliament.

It took the intervention of some Marshals in the Chamber to restore the seat to its position.

But speaking in an interview with TV3, the Legislator said his action was to preserve the seat.

He argued that he sees nothing wrong with touching the Speaker’s seat.

“I didn’t snatch the seat of the Speaker, I was only preserving it. Yes, it is not my duty to preserve the seat of the Speaker, but when he (Joseph Osei-Owusu) rules that he is not the Speaker, then we would have to preserve it [the seat] for the Speaker till he comes.

I don’t agree with the view that touching the Speaker’s seat, is sacrilegious. The Speaker was not on the seat when I touched it. So many people touch the Speaker’s seat. I can also touch it. When I touch it, what happens? And no, my action did not attract the Marshals. They were already there. They were already positioned around the mace and the seat. No one intended to carry the seat outside the chamber,” he said.

On his part, the MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has called on the Majority in Parliament to address concerns raised over the policies and levies introduced in the 2022 budget rather than engage in theatrics.

His comment follows the ruling of the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu which led to confusion and chaos in parliament.

“I think that the most important thing is let’s avoid the theatrics, let’s go to the substantive issues. The taxes, what are they doing about the taxes? They haven’t told us what they will do about that taxes. They have not properly laid the reduction in the E-levy to 1.5% before the House so it is not part of the record of the house…it is not officially before the House,” he told Evans Mensah.

Meanwhile, the leadership of Parliament has set up a 20-member Committee to resolve the stalemate over the 2022 Budget.

According to the leadership, the recent developments in the House do not augur well for the country’s parliamentary democracy and the need to build consensus.



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