The majority caucus in Parliament says the pronouncement by the Speaker of Parliament that the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government has been rejected by Parliament is “null, void and of no effect.”
According to the caucus, 137 members of Parliament have no power to take a decision for Parliament.
They have therefore asked the public to disregard the decision by the Speaker, Mr Alban Bagbin, that 137 members of Parliament have the power to take a decision for Parliament and have consequently rejected the 2022 Budget.
Read also: KT Hammond: Parliament has not constitutionally rejected 2022 Budget
In a press statement dated Friday, November 26, the Majority caucus argued that Article 104 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 109 of the Standing Orders of Parliament are very clear.
“The two provisions, read together, require that at least 138 MPs needed 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,” they stated.
They said they were resolute and willing to ensure that the 1992 Constitution is respected to the letter by Speaker Bagbin and the Minority.
Below is a copy of the Press Statement
Drama in Parliament
Graphic Online’s Parliamentary correspondent, Nana Konadu Agyeman reported that last Friday’s sitting was not without fanfare and drama as the Majority group, for the first time, staged a walkout after the Speaker, Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, had ordered all non-Parliamentarians to vacate the Chamber.
The Speaker’s order came after the Minority Chief Whip, Mr Mohammed-Muntaka Mubarak, had prayed the Speaker to order out ministers of state who were not MPs prior to the vote by division.
Although the non-MPs left the Chamber, the Majority protested the presence of the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, who was seated in the public gallery in the Chamber.
The agitation by the Majority members stemmed from the fact that the Speaker had earlier threatened to direct the Marshals of Parliament to drive out ministers of state who were in the Chamber and were not Parliamentarians.
In the view of the Speaker, the ministers were not required to take part in the vote by division and, therefore, needed to leave the Chamber..
Thus at the time of the rejection of the budget, the Majority side was not in the Chamber.
Parliament had, through a voice vote, rejected a request by Mr Ofori-Atta to meet the leadership of the House before the approval of the 2022 Budget.
The Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Alexander Afenyo Markin, challenged the Speaker’s interpretation of the voice vote and called for a ‘division’.
Mr Bagbin thus directed that, per the orders of the House, non-MPs had to vacate the Chamber during the voice division process.
Nana Konadu Agyeman reported that in a short media interaction, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, expressed concern about the Speaker’s directive.
He said the Majority side would henceforth not tolerate the “machoism and illegalities” displayed by the Speaker.
Although sitting was to begin at 10:00 a.m., the Majority MPs failed to show up on time.