2022 budget: Don’t stoke tensions in Parliament – Sam George to Majority Leader

The Member of Parliament for the Ningo Prampram constituency, Sam George, has urged the Majority Leader to stop making divisive comments about Parliament and its Speaker.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. George chided the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, for not engaging with the leadership of Parliament as far as the impasse over the 2020 budget is concerned.

“This cavalier behaviour and attempt to undermine the authority of the Speaker is inimical to the image of Parliament.”

“I would urge the Majority Leader to engage more with the Speaker and the leadership caucus, than to be making comments that will rather incite and raise the temperature of the House.”

Mr. George also said he expected Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu to be working “to drop the temperature in the house and not to be the one stoking the fire, so he must be minded by his commentary.”

The Ningo Prampram MP’s concerns come after the Majority Leader, on Tuesday, intimated that the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, may have approved a motion filed by the Minority in Parliament to essentially reverse the approval of the 2022 budget, while he [Bagbin] was away on a medical trip.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu further urged the Minority to give up on its opposition to the budget.”

After a protracted back and forth over the budget, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, filed a motion to challenge the First Deputy Speaker’s ruling rejecting his earlier motion seeking to reverse the approval of the 2022 budget, which was done after a boycott of Minority MPs.

The Minority is of the view that the reversal of the rejection of the budget by the First Deputy Speaker was a biased ruling.

90% of MPs or more will vote for anti-LGBTQ+ Bill – Sylvester Tetteh

The governing New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro, Sylvester Tetteh, says he’s optimistic Parliament will pass the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill currently before it.

According to him, the bill is of great significance to the country and will enjoy support from both sides of the House.

Sylvester Tetteh, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Communications Committee of Parliament made this known on Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday, October 9, 2021.

He, however, asked proponents of the bill to allow and tolerate dissenting views.

Mr. Tetteh explained that would provide an avenue for fine-tuning the bill for the betterment of the country.

“I have had a lot of conversations with chiefs and opinion leaders in my constituency. I think that [there is a] bi-partisan nature of this bill in Parliament. However, we must also be tolerant to other dissenting views, wherever it’s coming from and what the posture is.”

“As for the bill, I pretty much believe if you ask members of parliament, about 90% or more, or unanimously, would love to vote for it,” he said.

He becomes the second MP for the ruling party to openly speak on the bill which has generated widespread controversy after Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh.

Mr. Frank Annoh-Dompreh has said the anti-LGBTQI+ bill before parliament in its current form, requires some changes to make it fit for purpose.

In a tweet, he said the fine-tuning will ensure that rights guaranteed by the country’s constitution are duly protected

About the bill

Some members of Parliament have initiated processes to have a law passed to criminalize LGBTQ+ activities and advocacy.

The bill, dubbed ‘The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021,)’, has received widespread public support, with a section of the public condemning it and describing it as promoting hate.

The Christian Council and the Office of the National Chief Imam have already declared their support for the bill but some academics and civil groups have described the bill as one that intends of promote hate.