Bagbin returns from medical review; scheduled to chair proceedings

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Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin with First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu walking into the Chamber on February 15, 2022.
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin with First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu walking into the Chamber on February 15, 2022.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin, has returned from his medical trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Mr Bagbin returned to Dubai for his third medical review barely a week after Parliament resumed from recess in January.

In an official communiqué from Parliament, it said the Speaker was expected to be away for two weeks.

Bagbin returns from medical review; scheduled to chair proceedings today
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin walking with First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu at the lobby of Parliament on February 15, 2022.

Accordingly, he has returned and is expected to assume his duties as leader of the House.

JoyNews’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Kwesi Parker-Wilson reports that Mr Bagbin was scheduled to chair today’s proceedings.

Meanwhile, members of the Majority Caucus have expressed worry about what they say is the ‘frequent absence’ of the Speaker from the House, especially with the ongoing discussions on the controversial Electronic Transactions Levy Bill (E-levy).

Due to the current state of the House, the absence of Speaker Bagbin affects the numbers of the Majority.

In December 2021, both Minority and Majority caucuses engaged in physical confrontations over the E-levy in the Speaker’s absence.

Bagbin returns from medical review; scheduled to chair proceedings today
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin walking with First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu at the lobby of Parliament on February 15, 2022.

Taking a cue from this, leadership of the Majority decided to hold an extensive backdoor meeting with the Minority after they learned about the Speaker’s scheduled medical trip.

Subsequently, the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexender Afenyo-Markin told the House that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, will withdraw the controversial levy in Parliament and re-introduce same later.

However, just last week, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu announced that Bill will not be withdrawn from Parliament as advertised earlier but will rather be amended.

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