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01 August 2017

Minority walks out of parliament

The Minority in parliament staged a walk-out on Tuesday, 1 August during deliberations on the controversial $510 million AMERI power deal.

The walkout followed concerns raised by Minority MPs that they were being gagged and prevented from making contributions on the floor.

The Majority caucus booed, shooed and chanted ‘away, away,away’ as the NDC MPs filed out of the chamber in anger and frustration.

Minutes before the walk-out, the Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu was seen furiously gesticulating at his opposite number after the Speaker had shot down his objections to a motion on the AMERI deal.

Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo reported on Asempa FM’s Ekosi Sen Tuesday that, the minority accused the Speaker of muzzling them, thus had no alternative but to walk out as a sign of protest.


Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu accused Prof Mike Oquaye of being a threat to democracy in parliament.

In a press conference shortly after the walk-out on Tuesday, 1 August, Mr Iddrisu said: “We (Minority) had no option than to protest the manner in which he (Speaker) is endangering parliamentary democracy and its practice”.

“Let me place on record to protest against the conduct of the Speaker in referring a motion to a committee of parliament – a motion which has not been debated and a motion for which no decision has been taken.

“This is a house governed by procedure and a house governed by rules and standing orders. Nowhere – and I challenge you to peruse the standing orders and give us basis and justification for the referral,” he argued.

Mr Iddrisu said the current parliament cannot cancel a decision taken by the previous parliament, adding that if there are any issues with the deal, the best place to resolve that will be in court.

The Tamale South MP said a Supreme Court has ruled in a different case sometime back that: “Once parliament gives approval, matters now rest in the realm of the judiciary once there is a contract in force”.

He said the Minority were seeking proper interpretation of the standing orders as to whether one can just get up to rescind a decision taken by a previous parliament.

“The matter the 6th Parliament considered was referred to it by the Executive, we have since not gotten a response to it and the Speaker was not prepared to interpret the standing orders even though he is vested with the authority to do so,” he underscored.

“For the record, our boycott is not because of an Ameri motion but its admissibility and the way he is respecting the rules and the standing orders. How can you refer a motion to a committee of parliament; a motion which has not been debated for which there is no decision and a motion for which the Minority is raising a constitutional, legal objection? The Supreme Court ruled…and we think the appropriate forum is the court.”

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