The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has explained that Bekwai MP, Joe Osei Owusu, only asked the Second Deputy Speaker to take the chair to enable him to take his medication and also use the washroom.
According to him, the First Deputy Speaker took the action not to cast his vote during the voting on the controversial e-levy as the minority had suggested.
He, however, said the deputy speakers are not barred from voting per the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.
“The First Deputy Speaker (Joseph Osei Owusu) wasn’t feeling well and was on medication, and we have to persuade him to come to preside over proceedings.”
“That is why he asked the Second Deputy Speaker to take the chair, so he could go and take his medication and use the loo.”
What happened last night in Parliament?
The decision of the First Deputy Speaker to take leave of the Speaker’s chair for the Second Deputy Speaker to take charge allegedly to enable him to participate in voting, occasioned disagreement from the Minority, and a subsequent tussle over the Speaker’s sitting area ensued.
The brawl saw dozens of the opposition parliamentarians exchange fisticuffs with their colleagues on the majority side while some officials of parliament tried to protect the Speaker’s seat and the mace of parliament from being attacked.
However, calm returned moments after, before the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Asiamah, adjourned the sitting.
Meanwhile, the House, without the Speaker, Alban Bagbin has adjourned sitting to take a break for Christmas.
The House will resume sitting on January 18, 2022.