‘Dumsor dumsor’ in parliament is unacceptable – Speaker

Intermittent power outages in parliament yesterday infuriated members of the House, especially the Minority caucus, as well as the Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, who described the situation as ‘unacceptable.’

Yesterday’s proceedings on the floor of the House had to be suspended for about one-and-a half hours, just after the speaker had said the opening prayers for the day’s business to begin.

The incident compelled the speaker to suspend sitting for over one hour to allow for a stable supply of power before sitting resumed.

However, as the Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, was responding to questions relating to the education sector posed by MPs, the power outage occurred again, prompting the Minority Members of Parliament to shout, “What a bright future!” and “Stop dumsor.”

When eventually power was restored, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, asked the speaker to cause investigations into recent power interruptions in parliament, which according to him, were seriously affecting business of the House as an important arm of government.

“Mr. Speaker, we cannot continue like this because business of this House is so crucial to the running of government,” he said, adding that “If care was not taken business arranged for this meeting of parliament could be seriously affected.”

Mr. Doe Adjaho said during Wednesday’s presentation of the 2015 budget statement, power was sourced from the stand-by generator as a result of the current unreliable supply of power from the national grid.

“We did not want to experience the situation where in the course of the presentation, there would be a power outage which would be an embarrassment so we resorted to the use of the generator for uninterrupted supply,” the speaker said.

According to him, because of the over-reliance on the stand-by generator for supply of power during the week, it also developed a fault after Wednesday’s sitting.

“I am surprised this development is coming at a time we have a lot of business to do,” the speaker said and therefore constituted a committee made up of the Majority and the Minority leaders and their chief whips as well as the NPP MP for Kwabre East, Kofi Frimpong, to look into the matter and report back to parliament for action to be taken.

Parliament is currently considering a lot of bills, including Customs Bill, Intestate Succession Bill, the Fisheries Amendment Bill, Conduct of Public Officers Bill and Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill. Debate on the 2015 budget will start next Tuesday

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