Members on the Minority side of Parliament have boycotted Tuesday’s proceedings.
After the Minority rejected the 2022 budget last Friday, following the walkout by the Majority side, Ghanaians were expecting a showdown in the House today, Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
Although reasons for the Minority’s absence in Parliament are sketchy, Citi News understands that they and their counterparts on the Majority side could not arrive at a consensus on requests for some amendments to be made to the 2022 budget.
“We clearly agreed that Parliament would sit at 3:30 pm [today] after having lunch. But it’s a pity they are not here [in the plenary],” the Second Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, who chaired the sitting, said.
Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has moved a motion to set aside the rejection of the Budget which was upheld by the Minority last Friday. This was after he raised concerns over the manner the rejection was arrived at.
He argued that, the rejection failed to meet the provisions of under Article 104. “Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for the purposes of taking decisions”, he said.
The Deputy Speaker thus ordered a head count to have the motion by the Majority Leader moved.
It emerged after counting by the clerks of the house that the Members of Parliament present were 137 plus the Deputy Speaker himself making 138 members to form the half of the members needed to take a major decision.
He argued that the Speaker, Alban Bagbin erred in his ruling last Friday because the Minority caucus did not meet the 138 MPs threshold to reject the budget.
The Deputy Speaker therefore ruled that, the motion has been adopted for the rescission of the rejection of the budget.
‘The game is still on, we’ll surely approve 2022 budget’ – KT Hammond
The Member of Parliament for the Adansi Asokwa constituency in the Ashanti Region, KT Hammond, had earlier said the Majority Caucus will marshal all the arsenals at their disposal to approve the 2022 budget, which was rejected by Parliament last Friday.
“The Game is still on. The action will be in play today. There won’t be any more projects in town. The only project in town today is the action on the floor of Parliament. This time you are not going to read my lips, you are going to see it with your naked eyes.”
“We have 138 human beings which we are going to deploy. Every arsenal at our disposal will be displayed today. We are going to pass the 2022 budget. The only action in town today is here in Parliament,” he said in an interview with the media on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
The Majority Caucus had insisted that the rejection of the budget by the Minority Caucus was unconstitutional and had no binding effect.
“The rejection of the budget was an unconstitutional act by the Minority. We will have the full house today, and we will do the right thing,” KT Hammond added in the interview.
On Friday, November 26, the Minority Caucus voted to reject the budget after the Majority Caucus staged a walkout.
However, the Majority Caucus later asked Ghanaians to disregard the supposed rejection of the budget as it was unconstitutional.
A statement from the Majority said: “For the record, the acts of the Minority and the decision of the Speaker to endorse it, constitute an unconstitutionality and an illegality and should be disregarded, as same is void and of no effect whatsoever”.
But the Minority believes the rejection of the budget still stands.
In a statement, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, called on the Finance Minister to revise the 2022 budget and re-present the document.
He said the revised document must come without the e-levy and the Agyapa royalties deal.
He also wants a revised budget to capture the construction of the Blekusu sea defense project, among others.