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AMERI deal: Speaker was shrewd – NPP MP

The Speaker of parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye was treading cautiously on his directive on the motion filed by K.T. Hammond, MP for Adansi Asokwa regarding the controversial $510million AMERI power deal, Osei Nyarko, MP for Akyem Swedru, has said.

According to him, given the sensitive nature of the decision to relook at the deal, it was important for the Speaker to have referred the motion to the Energy and Mines Committee where all the key stakeholders would be present to address every issue in order to avoid needless accusations.

His comments follow the Minority’s decision to stage a walk-out during deliberations on the power deal on Tuesday.

The walk-out followed concerns raised by the Minority that they were being gagged and prevented from making contributions on the floor.

They accused the Speaker of muzzling them, thus had no alternative but to walk out as a sign of protest, Class91.3FM’s parliamentary correspondent Ekow Annan reported.

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu accused Prof Mike Oquaye of being a threat to democracy in parliament.

But speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Wednesday, 2 August, Mr Nyarko said: “Ordinarily, when a motion is moved and seconded, the Speaker will have to allow a debate on it but the Speaker noted that this is a national matter and so the matter should be referred to the committee where all the key stakeholders will be present to deal with the issue. The Speaker was treading cautiously on that line.

“He could have allowed the MPs to debate on it and at the end, we will vote, definitely given the numerical advantage in parliament the Majority would surely have won the votes.

“But the Speaker decided to that given the sensitive nature of this issue and to also avoid needles suspicion and accusations, the matter should be referred to the very committee that sat on this agreement where all the stakeholders will be present to deal with the matter.

“In Parliament, we are masters of our own rules, and the Speaker can vary the order of the business of the day, Order 53(2) and so if he denied a debate on the issues, we can’t impugn any wrongdoing on it.”

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