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Davis Ansah Opoku, the Member of Parliament for Mpraeso has explained why he called for the expulsion of Johnson Asiedu Nketia from Parliament’s public gallery during the vote to approve the 2022 budget.
On November 26, 2021, the MP demanded the National Democratic Congress General Secretary be removed from Parliament before a voice vote was conducted on a prayer submitted by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
He explained in an interview on Joy News’ ‘The Probe’ programme last Sunday that Asiedu Nketia had no business in the gallery because it was supposed to be out of bounds because of COVID-19.
Opoku Ansah insisted that his demand which eventually led to a walkout by the Majority Group was not unparliamentary.
“I am a Member of Parliament and I got into Parliament at a time when COVID was on the rise. Parliament took a decision that it was not going to allow people to sit in the gallery… for some time now people are not allowed into the gallery of Parliament even when we are sitting.
“Members of the public are not allowed into our gallery. So, how special is Asiedu Nketia that he is allowed to sit?” he quizzed.
Asked about whether Asiedu Nketia was the only member of the public in the gallery, he responded: “Well, it was Asiedu Nketia and his entourage, he came with a team, He came with some heavily built men who stood by him all this while.”
He challenged anyone to name any other observers in the gallery aside from Asiedu Nketia and his entourage adding the media had been allowed to use the public gallery area: ”… media gallery was packed so some media people moved to the media gallery.”
According to him, the other reason he protested was that the NDC scribe and his entourage could have influenced the decision of the Speaker during the vote. He accused them of having come to Parliament to pursue an agenda of disrupting government business.
“Those who came with Asiedu Nketia came could with partisanship, they came there for an agenda. They came there just to ensure that the business of government comes to a halt. That is the reason why Asiedu Nketia came there,” he added.
Meanwhile, Parliament reconvenes today for the first sitting since November 26, 2021, when the budget was rejected. The Majority Group insists that the rejection was unconstitutional and have vowed to reverse it today.