“This particular Parliament, sometimes they behave like kindergarten children and having been a kindergarten teacher before, I can see how they behave”.
Ellen Ama Daaku, a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) communications team has said lawmakers in the Eighth Parliament of Ghana behave like “kindergarten children” due to the raucous nature of debates in the House.
The current Parliament is split down the middle between the two main political parties, posing the risk of gridlock on finalising national business, especially when it comes to passing bills.
MPs shouted at each other and engaged in an open brawl in Parliament on 20 December as the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, vacated his seat to enable him also to cast a vote to pass the controversial E-Levy under a certificate of urgency.
It took the marshals to restore order in the House as they wrestled with a group of MPs to protect the Speaker’s seat, his documents and the mace.
Touching on the current situation in Parliament, Daaku said the behaviour of the MPs has emboldened the Speaker Alban Bagbin to sometimes use certain words on them.
“This particular Parliament, sometimes they behave like kindergarten children and having been a kindergarten teacher before, I can see how they behave. It’s just like the older versions of the KG2 and KG1 children. Sometimes this is how they behave with all due respect,” Daaku said on Asaase Radio’s news analysis and current affairs show The Forum.
She added: “I believe that Parliament all these years has operated on mutual respect on both sides because you have a lot of people from different levels of society. So, I expect them to continue like that. But this particular Parliament has been quite innovative in misbehaviour. I mean certain form of misbehaviour that you’ll never have thought that Parliamentarians will be involved in.
“I think that is also what is informing the Speaker’s attitude. As much as I do not agree with some of the words that he uses, this particular Parliament by their behaviour, some of the MPs have given him the reason for him to do what he’s doing. This particular Speaker has a tendency to be a bit authoritarian and I think it also comes from his long stay in Parliament and practically he knows almost everybody in there and all the processes.”