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19.01.2006 Politics

Mojority Leader vs. Speaker: Who is the Boss?

By jfm
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The Speaker of Parliament, Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi-Hughes has been telling the public that he is the first officer of Parliament and for that matter the leader of Parliament. In his opening remark at the just ended public forum on parliament in Accra on Thursday, Mr. Sekyi-Hughes made a clear distinction between him and the majority leader saying, describing the majority leader as the leader of Government Business in the House.

Later in response to a question form the public on who really leads the house Speaker Sakyi Hughes emphatically ended the debate using article 101 of the 1992 constitution as basis. Members of parliament have been engaged in an unending debate about who is the leader of the House. The Majority leader, Felix Owusu-Agyepong says he is the leader, whilst the minority insists the Standing Orders of the House recognized Mr. Owusu-Agyepong only as leader of the majority and not leader of the House.

Speaker Sakyi Hughes decried the poor condition which MPs work saying there is the need to support the MPs to effectively carry out their duties. “The basic structure of Parliament, the officers of the House being the Speaker, the first officer of the House is indeed the obedient servant of the house. The Majority Leader who is also the minister for Parliamentary Affairs is the Member of the parliamentary leadership.

He is the principal spokesman for the majority caucus. Ladies and Gentlemen, I don't think there is any need for us to prolong this matter but just for students of law, I just refer them to article 101 of the Constitution which says that the Speaker shall preside in Parliament at all sittings and in his absence the deputy Speaker will take over,” he said. Mr. Sakyi Hughes also assured the public that Parliament would open its doors wide for the public to make suggestions on the business of the House.