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General News of Thursday, 14 February 2019

Source: Class FM

Ken Agyapong's pardon sad for Ghana’s democracy – Akandoh

Mr Kennedy Agyapong, Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, should have been punished by the House for describing the lawmaking arm of government as cheap, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, MP for Juaboso, has said.

Parliament’s Privileges Committee pronounced Mr Agyapong guilty of contempt for making disparaging remarks against the House.

The Committee, Chaired by First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei-Owusu, stated in the recommendations of its report that having “concluded the matter in the light of the totality of the evidence gathered, and, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the Standing Orders and other relevant enactments, concluded that the Hon. Member for Assin Central Constituency, Mr Ken Ohene Agyapong is, indeed, in contempt of Parliament for the remarks he made that ‘Parliament is cheap’ and ‘Parliament is useless’”.

The Committee further recommended that the House adopt the report and “sanction Hon. Ken Ohene Agyapong by suspending him for the rest of this Session or reprimand him”.

Mr Agyapong on Thursday February 14 apologised to Parliament for describing the House as cheap.

He, however, denied ever describing parliament as 'useless' but admitted describing the lawmaking arm of government as cheap in a radio interview.

“I want to state clearly that I respect Parliament and I will never insult parliament. I don’t feel shy apologising because the first day of the Privileges Committee hearing, I did apologise and today I maintain that as for calling parliament useless, I never said that," he said.

"I sincerely apologise to the House if they find it offensive. Whether I said cheap or cheapened I apologise,” he added.

He was subsequently asked by the Speaker of Parliament to “Go and Sin no more.”

But speaking in an interview with Accra 100.5FM’s parliamentary correspondent Richard Appiah Sarpong, Mr Akandoh said: “Today is the saddest day in our democracy. We in the Minority stand to benefit nothing if Kennedy Agyapong is punished. This is about the democracy of Ghana, it is about the seriousness of parliament, it is about what the people are saying, it is about how Ghanaians take parliament.

“Everybody in Ghana is fed up with Kennedy Agyapong’s behaviour in this country so it is only proper and fair that we as MPs would have done something about him if we want dignity.”

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