The Majority Caucus in Parliament has accused Speaker Alban S.K. Bagbin of partisanship and acting in bad faith in the processes for the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement Economic Policy of the government.
According to the side, the Speaker also supervised illegality when in the absence of the governing party in the Chamber put the question to the Motion on the budget and proceeded to pronounce its rejection.
The Majority has, however, urged Ghanaians to treat with contempt any pronouncements from the Speaker and stressed the 2022 Budget has not been rejected.
Parliament concluded debate on the Motion to approve the 2022 Budget on Friday 26th November, 2021 with the two leaders taking their turns to express their support for or against the government’s economic policy for next year.
The process, however, degenerated into chaos when a request by the Finance Minister to be allowed space to engage both sides of the House in order to build consensus was put to a vote and rejected, leading to the Majority side staging a walkout in protest.
In the absence of the ruling party, however, the Speaker proceeded to put the question to the Motion and the Minority voted to reject the Budget.
Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who addressed developments in the Chamber after the walkout noted that Article 104 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 109 of the Standing Orders of Parliament require at least 138 members to have been present in the Chamber at the time of the ‘purported vote.”
“Therefore, the claim that the budget has been rejected by 137 Members of the House is null, void and of no effect because same is unconstitutional.”
“The Majority Caucus finds it unfortunate that after making requests to the Finance Minister to reconsider some items in the Budget Statement, the Minority Caucus assisted by Speaker Bagbin, who had earlier indicated his ability to obstruct Government business, refused to give the Finance Minister an opportunity to accommodate their requests and instead hurriedly moved to, on their own, attempt to vote against the Budget in a bid to subject the government to embarrassment for mere partisan reasons.”
“For the record, the acts of the Minority and the decision of the Speaker to endorse it, constitute unconstitutionality and an illegality and should be disregarded, as same is void and of no effect on anybody whatsoever,” he stated.
The Speaker, he stressed was totally wrong in the business he purportedly undertook in the House in the absence of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) members.
He averred that as far as the Majority is concerned, the Motion on the Budget has not been pronounced on by Parliament and still stands in the name of the Minister for Finance and added, “In the fullness of time, a properly constituted House, not one presided over by the Speaker, will make the decision.
The Majority leader indicated that the Finance Minister’s prayer was for the opportunity to accommodate comments by the Minority into the Budget that included requests on Keta relief efforts and the E-levy.
He said, “These and other requests of the Minority led by Haruna Iddrisu require consultation and costing if the Minister is to include them in the budget.”
“Surprisingly the same Minority who made the requests and the Speaker refused to give the Minister the opportunity to incorporate their requests.”
“While refusing the Minister the opportunity, the Speaker went further to ask the Finance Minister whose Budget is being debated, to leave the chamber.”
“Shockingly, at the same time Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the NDC General Secretary was left seated. Mr. Speaker ignored requests to ask all other strangers to leave the Chamber and public galleries,” he added
The Majority, he warned, would no longer tolerate the ‘unbecoming’ behaviour of the Speaker but stressed the walkout was just to allow cooler heads to prevail.
Source: Mypublisher24.com/Osumanu Al-Hassan