Drama unfolded in Parliament House on Friday, May 20, when the Speaker of Parliament, Justice Joyce Bamford Addo, angrily stormed out of the chamber over what she describes as the NDC Majority's unwillingness to work with her and disrespect for her position.
The incident is said to have occurred at about 11:30 in the morning after the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Rashid Pelpuo, refused to withdraw a statement he had made on the floor of the House, which the Speaker considered was un-parliamentary.
It all began when NPP MP for Ahafo Ano South, Hon Balado Manu raised a point of order after Majority Leader, Hon Cletus Avoka had presented the Business Statement for the House for the Second Week ending Friday, 27th May.
Immediately after Hon. Balado Manu’s Comment, the Deputy Majority Leader and NDC MP for Wa Central, Hon. Rasheed Pelpuo got up and condemned the practice where some MPs rise to make contributions on the floor without the speaker’s permission and cited Hon. Balado Manu as an example.
Hon. Pelpuo said such behaviours make some people perceive the house to be "chaotic".
According to Emmanuel Akorli, Peacefm's Parliamentary correspondent, the Honourable MP quoted two Standing Orders of Parliament to buttress his point and to ostensibly remind the Speaker of her duties and the need for her to stamp her authority.
But Justice Joyce Bamford Addo was not enthused by his comments stating that she did not believe the House was chaotic, and thus impressed on Hon. Pelpuo to retract his comment and apologize to the House.
The Honourable MP would not budge and rather sought to explain that he was not making a personal comment but rather putting forth an observation that had been made by the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
Perhaps, what made the benign Speaker hit the roof was when the Majority Leader, Hon Cletus Avoka jumped in to defend his colleague, saying the disorderly manner in which some members of Parliament drawn from the Minority's side interjected others who were making their submissions, was a matter of serious concern.
However, when the clearly irritated Bamford Addo insistence for an apology and a retraction failed she suspended sitting and walked out of the Chamber.
As if on cue, the leadership of the House quickly followed her in a bid to persuade her to change her mind. They amicably resolved the issue amongst themselves outside the chamber.
A couple of minutes later (12minutes to be exact), Justice Bamford Addo returned to the chamber after the Majority side decided to render an apology.
Hon. Pelpuo then withdrew his remark as ordered by the Speaker after Hon. Avoka the majority had briefly commented on the issue.
The Speaker accepted it in good faith and continued the day’s proceedings.
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