The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, has slammed the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin for declaring that the anti-gay bill will be passed by end of this year.
According to the Suame MP, the Speaker is not an MP and must leave such time-bound decisions to the business committee of the House.
“Technically the Speaker is not a member of Parliament, so the Speaker cannot commit Parliament, the Speaker can make referrals to parliament which will be programmed by the business committee for consideration. I’ll find it difficult if we have a speaker who in spite of his own antecedents as a former MP to say that parliament is going to pass the bill, then that will present some challenges,” Kyei Mensah Bonsu told Starr FM’s Ibrahim Alhassan.
The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs added, “I am not saying parliament is not going to pass the bill but the Speaker should not make a pre-determination because he is not a member of parliament and this is the business of parliament.”
Meanwhile, the majority in parliament has admonished the public to put aside emotions in the anti-gay bill debate as it assures the needful will be done based on the values of the country.
The NPP MPs in the strongest voice yet seem to have dashed the glimmer of hope by the LGBTQ advocates who were counting on the silence of the NPP MPs as subtle support for their cause.
Deputy general secretary for the party Nana Obiri Boahen recently questioned the seeming silence of the NPP MPs on the bill sponsored by seven minority and one majority MPs.
But addressing the media on Tuesday, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stated categorically any hurdle standing in the way of the bill will be cleared and concerns addressed to ensure its passage.
The Suame MP conceded some MPs have had visa challenges and the threat of travel bans as a result of the anti-gay bill.
Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has, however, added that MPs should be willing to collectively pay a price for such a decision taken in the interest of the country.
“I heard that just yesterday evening about this but it is a determination that the Parliament of Ghana will have to make. If we [Parliament] all decide that this should be the way and the world decides that we are against Ghana for this then we all have to suffer for it. It is not going to be a one-person being a martyr in this but we aren’t there yet and I don’t want to prejudice it.”
He, however, urged Ghanaians to use the same force to demand the passage of the spousal property rights bill after they succeed with the anti-gay bill.