Member of Parliament for Effutu and Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, has gone to the defence of the Clerk of Parliament, Cyril Kwabena Nsiah.
The clerk had come under attack from the leadership of the Minority caucus after it emerged that official Parliamentary records on March 29 recorded that eight opposition MPs were absent.
The issue has become contentious because the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) Bill was passed on the said day amid a boycott by the Minority, a walkout that has partly been interpreted in some quarters as being due to failure to marshal all Minority MPs.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu and Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Muntaka Mubarak, raised objections over the development on March 31 during a sitting.
Afenyo-Markin differs with their harsh critique of the Clerk and Clerk attendants, whose actions he stressed could have been a genuine mistake.
He described some of the critiques as unfair and called for parts of the submissions by the Minority to be expunged from the Hansard.
“Mr. Speaker, what I disagree with, is the argument that the Clerk and the Clerk attendants are being partisan. That statement coming from a leader of this House is not acceptable.
"The Clerk cannot be heard and respond on the floor, so I think that the issue should be addressed by all. This is not a matter we should split hairs on. I think that this issue should be addressed by all.
"This is not a matter we should split hairs on. I think that this is a matter we must sit in conclave to resolve. This part of the submission that accuses the Clerk must be expunged from the records,” he stressed.
What Muntaka said:
Muntaka according to a GNA report interpreted the actions of the Clerk as an “unforgivable error” and “a deliberate mistake” such as the omission of the walkout staged by the Minority in the official Parliament document.
"Mr. Speaker, I can say on record that, except for Hon. James Quayson, MP for Assin North, every single member on our side was in the house. All the other members claimed to be absent were in this house,” he said.
“Mr. Speaker, with the greatest of respect to our Clerks, people indeed react to their party affiliations, but what we expect from them are fairness and accurate reporting. This partisan behaviour, we will not tolerate. Their action was deliberate and intended for a purpose, and unfortunately, that purpose has been achieved," he added.
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