The Minority in the Ghana Parliament has described as a nullity the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement by the House on Tuesday, November 30.
On November 26, 2021, 137 Members on the Minority side in the Parliament voted to reject the Budget, during which the Majority side staged a walkout.
Tuesday’s reinstatement and approval of the Budget was carried out by the 138 Majority MPs including the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, MP of Bekwai, who presided.
However, the Minority was absent from the Chamber of the House.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, speaking at a press conference after the Majority’s approval, said he was unhappy with the decision of the First Deputy Speaker, who sat in as the Speaker to include himself and to exercise a vote in order to meet their mandatory defined 138 majority votes without recourse to the Standing Orders of Parliament and to the 1992 Constitution.
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“Standing Order 109:2 reads that Mr Speaker has neither an original nor a casting vote and if upon any question before the House, the votes are equally divided, the motion shall be lost,” he said.
He said the Constitution says “A Deputy Speaker or any other Member, presiding, shall not retain his original vote while presiding”.
“So, constitutionally they were also 137, so Ghanaians should also expect that what they had done is also a nullity to quote them if we are to respect the provisions of the Constitution.”
On why the Minority did not participate in Tuesday’s sitting, Mr Iddrisu said the Majority Side did consult them prior to the sitting and that they were to approve the Budget subject to concessions granted by the Minister of Finance.
However, there were no concessions in the Budget; he said, adding; “and, therefore, what are they approving?”
Mr Iddrisu said the Minority’s views were that the Budget should be revised to reflect those concessions before it would be approved by Parliament.
The Minority was against the introduction of the Electronic levy (E-levy) and the re-introduction of the Agyapa Deal in the 2022 Budget and wanted a downward revision of the E-levy to one per cent for the good of the Ghanaian people.
The Minority Leader said they were determined to support the Government in its efforts to redeem the economy.