Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has assured Ghanaians that he will not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate or obstruct government business.
The Speaker gave the assurance when he resumed work, after embarking on a two-week medical leave.
During his absence, the Majority Members of the House voted to reinstate and approve the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government on November 30, which was earlier rejected by the Minority on November 26.
“I would not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate Government business, but I will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government,” Mr Bagbin said.
“This House is fully focused on discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favour, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interests of the Ghanaian people are served.”
The Speaker condemned the unruly behaviour of members of the House during his absence and said he took full responsibility for whatever happened.
He commended the members for holding the fort in his absence, despite the conduct of some, which raises fundamental issues bordering on a complete disregard of parliamentary practice, procedure and process.
“I have taken my time to read the Order Paper, Votes and Proceedings and the Official Reports of the days in the issue. And I am convinced we should accept the view of the conscience of the nation that we owe Ghanaians an apology and I will proceed to do just that,” he said.
“As the Head of Parliament, the voice of the Legislature, who speaks for and on behalf of Parliament, hence the title; Speaker, I, with all humility, apologize on behalf of the House and all the members for the aberrations of conduct and behaviour on those days.”
“I take responsibility for what happens in the House and I admit it is neither dignified nor exalted by that rancorous and unruly behaviour of members.”
Mr. Bagbin promised to do everything within his power to lead in charting a path of transformation, decency, and change, a change for the better.
He said the proceedings during his absence also touched on the legality of the decisions arrived at and how they arrived at those decisions.
It would help for members to look at those issues dispassionately, in humility, devoid of egos and partisanship, he said.
“As a House of honour, dignity and measureless might and majesty, members of Parliament should, for a while, allow the 1992 Constitution, the enabling laws, precedents and the Standing Orders of the House to lead the way,” Mr Bagbin said.
He noted that the House needed to think about how to strengthen its work, and by extension, strengthen Ghana’s democratic governance.
“Members need to consider the precedents we set by every decision and action we take in Parliament”.
The Speaker urged them to continue to strengthen their channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes Ghanaians had adopted for the nation’s burgeoning democracy to thrive.