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The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has explained why he could not preside over the voting on the controversial e-levy bill on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
The Speaker of Parliament on Monday, December 20, 2021, during proceedings of the House asked the First Deputy Speaker to take the chair and never returned to the seat until the house adjourned on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
The Majority Caucus has said he (Speaker of Parliament), could be carrying out plans to stall the business of the house.
Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader, while addressing the press on Monday, December 20, 2021, said the absence of Alban Bagbin throughout the first part of the sitting appears to be part of a grand plan by the minority to frustrate the approval of the bill.
“We will not proceed to take decisions without, Mr. Speaker. We need him in the House because by the technicalities of our own procedures, one of our people would have to sit in, and therefore he will not have the opportunity to have his right of voting as a member. Mr. Speaker must show leadership in parliament,” he said.
However, Speaker Bagbin has rejected the claims.
Mr. Bagbin says he was willing and ready to preside, but the Majority Caucus kept on varying the order of proceedings.
He said he was in the chair to the point he felt he needed to go and rest, as they were delaying the business of the day.
He said before he left the chair for the First Deputy Speaker, he ensured some important businesses had been done.
“I can give you a copy of my closing remarks which when I was leaving I passed through my usher to give to them that it was after 10 in the night, and I had to go and take a rest because you delayed in sitting. I had to compel the house to sit after 2:00 pm, and I presided, I said let us discuss E-levy, you said no, rather the other business.”
“I kept on varying, and we did about 6 important items, approving other loans until I had to hand over getting to 6:30 to the first Deputy Speaker.”