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Aging Speaker was appointed because she is competent- Avoka


Aging Speaker was appointed because she is competent- Avoka

Majority Leader in Parliament Cletus Avoka has defended the competence and integrity of the Speaker of Parliament Joyce Bamford Addo whose mettle has been brought into question by excerpts of leaked US diplomatic cables, wikileaks.

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Current Trade Minister Hannah Tetteh who in 2009 was the head of communications of the NDC transition team is quoted in one of the leaks as describing the appointment of Joyce Bamford as a genius.

“She is a woman and the NDC has a long way to go on gender balance in high office. Secondly and most importantly it was clear the NPP will find no grounds to object to her. Lastly she was seen as someone who will take orders and will be malleable to party discipline. For important votes the party will remove Addo and put the first Deputy Speaker Edward Adjaho as a stronger enforcer,” Tetteh is quoted as saying.

Her alleged comments have been described as demeaning, more so when recent events in Parliament have corroborated some of the statements captured in the leak.

In very controversial debates such as the STX, the $3 billion Chinese loan, deputy Speaker Doe Adjaho had been in the chair with no clear reason the whereabouts of Joyce Bamford Addo.

But the Majority Leader in Parliament Cletus Avoka told Joy News Addo’s absence during controversial debates is purely coincidental and not by design.

He explained further that such controversial bills most often drags and that makes it difficult for Bamford Addo to sit through given her age.

"For some of these bills, they normally go into the evening and sometimes up to the night and then given her age and the fact that she is a retired Supreme Court Judge, sixty something years and above, it is not going to be easy for her to sit in the chair for eight hours," he explained.

He said even the deputy speakers – Doe Adjaho and Mike Ocquaye - who are relatively younger have had to sometimes alternate during long sittings.

He said Bamford Addo was appointed because she was considered competent and described any statement that sought to impugn her integrity as hugely unfair.

But the Minority Leader said the alleged utterances by Hannah Tetteh about the Speaker have reignited the need to get an impartial umpire as Speaker who will not be nominated by the Executive.

He found it rather curious in an interview with Joy News that on very controversial issues, most of which he chronicled, the Speaker Joyce Bamford Addo either by “accident or design” has been missing with the House scouting for the first Deputy Doe-Adjaho to sit in.

He said Ghana must go the Westminster system where the legislature is truly independent of the Executive

Source:From Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana



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