I didn’t break any law by sitting in the public gallery, Asiedu Nketia
Majority stages walkout because of Asiedu Nketia‘s presence
Ken-Ofori Atta begs to engage leadership of parliament before budget approval voting
General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has explained why he refused to walk out of the chamber of parliament after the majority caucus protested against his presence.
He explained that there was no law to push him out of the public gallery as those there were not affected by the directive of the Speaker which stated that all ministers who were not MPs should leave the lobby.
Speaking in an interview with Ghanaweb, after the majority staged the walkout, he said “parliament has the chamber, the chamber is made up of the floor of the house, the public gallery and the press gallery. The floor of the house is occupied by elected Members of Parliament and Ministers of state and the vice president of the republic. They can all come and sit any day to participate in all business of the house. The only thing they cannot do is to participate in voting.”
He added that “It is appropriate for the speaker, if the Speaker in his opinion thinks their presence will compromise the voting in one way or the other, it is appropriate for them to walk out. So in this particular case, the speaker was about a division which has been requested by the same Majority and division means all the lobbies must be cleared.”
General Mosquito also noted that he saw some ministers who were not MPs on the floor of parliament after the speaker had asked them to leave.
“But I could see ministers of state who were not members of Parliament sitting together with the NPP side, maybe their hope was that the counting will be done and then they can add their voice without being noticed. Everybody knows the penchant of the NPP to rig an election and so many that was what they were aiming at. But our MPs were very smart, and the Speaker was also very smart.
According to him, the only time he could be pushed out is when the House directs a closed-door meeting or he engages in unparliamentary conduct.
He said so long as these two things did not happen in the chamber, he is entitled to sit in the chamber to represent his people in the 2022 budget debate.
“…if you are sitting on the public gallery, no law can push you out of the public gallery except parliament decides that they are going to engage in a close sitting. So what prevents Asiedu Nketia from following if I decide to come and sit there. The second condition upon which anybody can be walked out of parliament from the press or public gallery is that the person is misconducting himself in an unparliamentary manner that may compromise the work of parliament. I was sitting there even as they were shouting and pointing at me I was at peace I never responded because I was enjoying what they were doing, so if they do it and have walked away, they have walked away,” he explained.
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