Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu has stated his intent to assist Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu in his fight to secure space for the Minority in Parliament.
Haruna Iddrisu complained about the Speaker restricting him to one question when the Minister of Food and Agriculture appeared before Parliament Thursday to address questions regarding the Planting for Food and Jobs programme. Mr. Iddrisu argues that refusal on the part of the Speaker to allow him proceed as far as questioning is concerned is an effort by the latter to cripple the Minority side in Parliament.
Mr, Kyei-Mensah sympathized with the Minority Leader in his quest to fight for enough time during proceedings to address issues.
According to him, he understands Mr. Idrissu’s argument because he has been in similar positions previously and would therefore fight for him to attain what should be allotted him.
“Honestly, I want us to provide adequate space, for the leadership of the Minority, especially the Minority Leader….I’ll fight for him, I’ve been there for 8 years, I’ll fight for him”.
“Everybody sees it that Haruna for instance is granted more space than I was granted, but I am not questioning, I think that we should expand the frontiers of especially our leadership, grant them much more space”, he said.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah maintained however that this was not a new practice since previous speakers in Parliament have acted similarly. He recounted when his position as Minority Leader in Parliament (when the NPP was in opposition), made him susceptible to such treatment.
“We must be honest with ourselves, the space that is granted me in committee especially when I was Minority leader, even Appointments Committee, sometimes you are asking questions and the Chairman of the Appointments Committee will be using some subtle means to guillotine what you are saying, it happened on many occasions.
Though he sided with the Minority Leader’s arguments, Mr. Kyei-Mensah condemned Mr. Iddrisu’s attitude and approach to resolving the issue. He maintains that Mr. Idsrisu, rather than resorting to aggressiveness, should have opted for other means of addressing the issue.
“If on an occasion, you don’t find the ruling or direction of Mr. Speaker favorable, there are avenues open to you. You don’t get raucous in the chamber, you don’t do that, you don’t get riotous as well”, he said.