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Speaker fumes at Ursula during heated debate

In a tense moment in parliament, Speaker Alban Bagbin reprimanded the Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu, during a debate on a yet-to-be-laid Legislative Instrument (L.I.).

The discussion centred around the proposed restriction of the importation of strategic products into the country, with both the Minority and the minister actively engaged.

As the debate unfolded, Ursula caught the Speaker’s attention with her comments questioning why the House was discussing the L.I. when it had not been officially laid before them.

She remarked, “Mr. Speaker, I believe that the L.I. has not been laid. So I have no idea what they are debating in this House today. There is nothing before the House. So, as you indicated to the minister that we are not yet there, I was of the opinion that you would tell my colleagues on the other side that there is nothing before us.”

The Speaker interjected, asking, “Hon. Minister, were you here from the very beginning?” to which Ursula Owusu-Ekuful responded, “No, I have been here since morning, even before the prayer.”

The Speaker further questioned her, “Then why did you say no? Do you really listen to yourself when you are talking?”

“Yes, I do,” Ursula responded.

The Speaker interjected again, saying, “If you were here from the very beginning, and I asked if you were here from the very beginning, you said no. Then you continue, and now you are telling me you were here even before I entered. So, it meant you were not listening to yourself.”

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, defended herself, stating, “This is the first time I am appearing in the House this week. I have been here since the beginning of proceedings today, and I do listen to myself very carefully.”

Furious, the Speaker retorted, “I don’t think so,” to which Ursula said he was entitled to his opinion.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, then ordered her to resume her seat, emphasizing, “Hon. Minister, this is not the Ministry of Communication; this is parliament. Resume your seat!”

Later, the Speaker explained that he raised the issue on the floor after the Minister of Trade, Kobina Tahir Hammond, presented the case to him.

Despite being convinced by KT Hammond, he said he wanted to hear from the House before allowing the instrument to be laid, leading to the ongoing debate on the L.I.


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