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Ofosu Ampofo On 'Seniors' In Parliament
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Alhassan Suhuyini
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Director of Elections of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has pointed out that though all 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) took the oath of an MP as well as that of the Oath of Allegiance the same day, - January 6, the day the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic was constituted - there is still a hierarchical leadership in the august House.

He was commenting on the behaviour of the Tamale North MP in the Legislative House which has led to a serious debate on social media over whether there are "seniors" in Parliament.

There was a near-brawl in Parliament on Thursday, March 30, after the Joe Ghartey Committee delivered their report on the bribery scandal.

Hon. Suhuyini was captured on video exchanging words with the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and Ablekuma West, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, whom the NDC MP claimed hurled insults on him during a debate on the floor of the House.

He alleged that the Education Minister described him as "mad" and further used "unprintable words" on him.

Hon. Suhuyini believed some Members of Parliament on the majority side think they're seniors and is quoted to have said he together with the MPs were all sworn into office the same day, so no one should claim seniority over him.

Speaking on Onua FM, he stressed that "no one is in that house on the basis of mercy.

"Everyone conducted a campaign, got elected by the electorate to represent a constituency so it is not for another person who feels big in his shoes to determine who his colleague in that house is...I am tempted to believe that the fact that some of us are in that house are eating some people up. Well, I can’t help them. I am sorry. I was voted by the good people of the Tamale North and I am grateful for that and they have to learn to accept that fact.”

Mr. Ofosu Ampofo, speaking on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo', stressed that there are indeed seniors in Parliament, as clearly depicted in their seating arrangement.

He explained that in Parliament, long serving MPs are always seated in front with the 'babies' or first-timers like Suhuyini arranged at the back to prove that the House respects ranks.

Though he was silent on whether or not Suhuyini's behaviour is becoming worrying, Mr. Ofosu Ampofo however issued a word of caution to the Tamale North MP to be civil in his conduct in the House.

In principle, yes, when there’s a Parliament and they’re all sworn-in; they’re all treated equally. But in practice, when you come to Parliament, there’s a front bench and a back bench. Why do we have front bench? The fact that all of you have been sworn in by January, 2017; you’re all MPs but there are different sizes of the Chief’s crown”, he said.
Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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