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February 16, 2019
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Minority MPs to be drags to Privileges C’ttee for ‘Bloody Widow’ placard

Parliament on Wednesday referred some Members of Parliament on the Minority side of the house to appear before Parliament’s Privileges Committee for displaying placards with the inscription “Bloody Widow” at the swearing-in of Lydia Seyram Alhassan in Parliament.

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament , Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu, gave directives to the Clerk to Parliament to review the video of Tuesday’s proceedings and establish the identity of the lawmakers who displayed the placard so they face the Privileges Committee for their conduct contrary to the laws of parliament.

The directive followed the refusal of the Minority to apologise to the new MP for the language used to describe her; arguing that it would be difficult to identify those who displayed the placards.

The Minority MPs displayed placards moments before storming out of the House on Tuesday February 5, when the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, was about swearing-in Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan, the wife of the late MP for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency.

The First Deputy Speaker, following an application by Deputy Majority Whip, Matthew Nyindan, for the Minority Leadership to apologise to the new MP, impressed on the Minority to apologise but they would not.

On a point of order, Mr Nyindan, Kpandai MP, said: “Mr Speaker, I think this is an attack, not just on our colleague Member of Parliament but an attack on women in general.

“It is an attack, Mr Speaker, on the widows we have in this country” adding that it was unfortunate “for you [Minority] to come to this House and put up those placards to denigrate this House.”

If this was allowed to pass without it being checked, Mr Nyindan said “it would set a very bad precedent in the House” as he invited his colleagues to apologise.

But the Deputy Minority Leader, James KlutseAvedzi disagreed and said there was no provision in the Standing Orders which outlaw the use of placards in the House and that what the Orders abhors is the use of abusive, offensive and insulting words on any member.

“Mr Speaker, yesterday [Tuesday], I did not hear any member from our side who made a speech which content is offensive, abusive, insulting and the rest,” he argued.

The Ketu North lawmaker contended that, at the time the Minority MPs displayed the inscription, Madam Lydia Alhassan was not a Member of Parliament as she was not sworn in and could not be accorded Parliamentary privileges.

The Deputy Minority Leader also averted that that the it was not right to a person whose legitimacy on the floor was not recognized at the time, adding that, the Minority would would find it difficult to identify which members displayed the placards.

However theFirst Deputy Speaker, expressed his disagreement with the Minority and asked that the Minority leadership render the apologise to the new MP; a ruling which ruffled the feathers of the Minority.

Amidst the heckling from both side of the House, Hon Alhassan Suhuyini, MP for Tamale North was identified by the Speaker as one of the Minority Members who expressed their disagreements with the ruling by ‘shouting’ at the Speaker and ordered him out of the House.

But Hon Suhuyini later told members of the parliamentary press, the First Deputy Speaker action against him was bias and that he was not the only MP on the floor who heckled his ruling.

He said, he could not understanding why the Speaker found its reasonable to ask MP for Assin Central Ken Agyepong to shut up when he was heckling but found its necessary to order him to walk out,arguing that, such directive was not only bias but abusive of power and discriminating against political opponents.

Source : therepublicnewsponsible com/Felix Nyaaba

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