The Executive Director of the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Rasheed Dramani has suggested that the simple majority requirement for passing motions in Parliament should be amended.
“On matters as important as this [the budget], we needed to begin to think about whether we need something more than a simple majority,” he said on The Big Issue.
Dr. Dramani noted further that demanding more than a simple majority will “force the hands of all sides in Parliament at all times to negotiate and see reason in the issues being raised by people on other sides.”
But as things stand, he said, the mode of making decisions “doesn’t give citizens what they are looking for.”
Dr. Dramani also believes that a Minority in Parliament would not use more stringent approval criteria to halt government business.
“The Minority would be mindful of how much disruption you can cause without bringing the negative consequences on yourself.”
Dr. Dramani’s concerns follow walkouts from both sides of Parliament on different occasions over the approval of the 2022 budget.
The budget was first rejected after a walkout from the Majority side in Parliament.
This was then overturned by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was serving as the Speaker of Parliament after he included himself in the total number of MPs in the House, before having the motion for the reversal of the rejection of the 2022 Budget moved.
His inclusion pushed the number of the Majority Caucus MPs to 138; one more than the Minority.
Mr. Osei-Owusu then pushed for the motion, arguing that the rejection of the budget by the Minority was erroneous, and insisted that there was no clear majority in the House during the proceedings.
What has followed has been debate over whether Mr. Osei-Owusu was in his right to retain the privileges of an MP for a vote while serving as the Speaker of the House.
To address these contentions, the leadership of Parliament has constituted a bi-partisan Committee to resolve the disagreements over the status of the budget statement.