Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has described the Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye as a walking illegality and a threat to parliamentary democracy.
His comment follows a decision by the Speaker of Parliament to suspend the House instead of going on recess as is often the case.
Prof. Mike Oquaye, explaining the rationale behind his decision said Parliament cannot go on a definite recess since the country is not in normal times.
This means the Speaker can assemble Members of Parliament any day without the required 14-day notice per the standing orders to address issues especially relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, “We are suspending sitting on this day, and this Honourable House will stand suspended until the Speaker, in consultation with the leadership of the House deem it fit to ask the House to resume sitting. This action is unprecedented but indeed we are living in unprecedented times and the whole Ghana State is in a state of National Emergency.”
“Hon. Members, we are not rising today but we are suspending sitting indefinitely. If we should rise, then on any emergency where our intervention will be required we may need two weeks’ notice according to the Constitution and the Standing Orders. Once sitting is suspended we can ask the House to proceed to work in a day or two,” the Speaker explained.
But reacting to this, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said the Speaker has no power to suspend sittings since MPs were supposed to be on break.
He said “Prof. Mike Oquaye has become a walking illegality and a threat to parliamentary democracy in the country. I will remind him that he is not the House and it is not for nothing that the Standing Orders in Order 42 provide that he (Speaker) should consult the House and not even the leaders [were consulted].”