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Speaker of Parliament Affirms Parties’ Power in Appointing Caucus Leaders

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has elucidated that political factions retain the authority to oversee the process of nominating or designating leaders for the caucuses within the legislative body.

He asserts that both the preceding and current procedural guidelines affirm this stance, leaving him perplexed by the origin of any misunderstanding.

Addressing the Parliament on Wednesday, February 21, he remarked, “I am cognizant of the challenges encountered by the parties due to the novel definition of leaders, and this is the root cause of the prevailing confusion. The traditional protocol pertains to the party or parties, whereas the contemporary one focuses on caucuses. The former elucidates that the Majority Leader is an individual from Parliament appointed by the party or parties holding the majority of seats in the House, and they are acknowledged as leaders within the legislative assembly.”

Rejecting interpretations suggesting that caucus members should solely designate their leaders, Bagbin clarified that the party’s role in this process is indispensable. He affirmed his position under the standing orders, asserting that if there is doubt, the speaker’s opinion prevails.

Bagbin’s remarks follow comments by First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu (Joewise), who asserted that the new Standing Orders granted the power to change leadership solely to the caucus, both Majority and Minority. Addressing reports of potential changes in Majority leadership, Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin dismissed them as false.

In a press conference on Tuesday, February 20, Afenyo-Markin emphasized the majority caucus’s confidence in the current leadership, refuting any contemplation of changes. He clarified that any future replacement would be decided by the caucus when the opportunity arises, in adherence to the adopted standing orders that place such decisions within the caucus’s purview.

Osei Owusu, when asked about external attempts to remove Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as Majority Leader, stated unawareness and highlighted that only the caucus holds the power to make such decisions within Parliament.

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