Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh has defended former Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu in the wake of criticism from some quarters that Haruna making a submission from the Majority side of the House amounted to having cross carpeted.
Annoh-Dompreh explained that the incident of February 9, 2023 where Haruna addressed the House while sitting at the position of Bekwai MP Joseph Osei Owusu was nothing egregious especially because Haruna explained why he had to speak sitting there.
Osei Owusu, who doubles as first deputy Speaker of the House was presiding at the time, hence Haruna was able to assume his seat.
Reacting to the criticism, Annoh-Dompreh told journalists: “It is one thing for him to have said that (refusing an allocated seat on Minority side), it is another thing for leadership to engage. The more it festers on it could create problems… these are things they should be able to do. The timing is of essence. They have to do it quickly.
“He (Haruna) sought permission publicly, this is not an issue we should drag. They should discuss the positioning for Haruna Iddrisu.
“In terms of crossing carpet, it is about the intention, the intention was not to cross carpet… the variable which is like the litmus test in drawing the conclusion on this, is about the intention,” he stressed.
Haruna explains why he took Joewise’s seat
“Mr Speaker, forgive me that I have to assume your chair, there was [sic] whether I should take over from Collins Dauda or yours and I have told them that honourable Collins Dauda is senior by age and a senior even to this house.
“So, I will not fit into his chair as somebody who is well-trained from home. So, any other chair Mr speaker acceptable to me, I am still the elected member of parliament for Tamale south,” he said in the chamber on February 9 after he made a contribution.
Leadership reshuffle and seating rearrangement
In line with the NDC’s reshuffle in the minority leadership, some MPs including the former leaders have seen some changes in their sitting positions.
Per the seating arrangement in parliament, the leaders are usually seated on the first row in the chamber and ranking members sit in the row after that.
The other two seats in the front row are usually reserved for the senior most parliamentarians.
Before the reshuffle, Cletus Avoka and Collins Dauda who are the two longest-serving members of parliament occupied these seats.
However, due to the reshuffle, Collins Dauda, MP for Asutifi South has been removed for Haruna Iddrisu to occupy the seat.
Haruna Iddrisu has, however, refused to sit on Collins Dauda’s seat.