Majority caucus’ approval of 2022 budget unconstitutional – Minority
The Minority in Parliament has described the decision to vacate an earlier rejection of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government, and subsequent approval of same by the Majority caucus as unconstitutional and an act of illegality.
Addressing the media shortly after the Majority voted on Tuesday evening, November 30, 2021, to approve the budget, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu, who sat in as the Speaker in the absence of Speaker Alban Bagbin, had no voting right to help the Majority side to overturn the rejected budget.
According to him, Joseph Osei-Owusu who is also the MP for Bekwai had no voting right whilst sitting as Speaker and couldn’t have added to the number of Member of Parliaments that voted to overturn the decision.
He quoted aspects of Article 104 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 109 of Parliament’s Standing Orders to buttress his claims that the decision to overturn the rejected budget was against the core principles of Parliament.
The Tamale South legislator has, therefore, served notice that from Wednesday, December 1, 2021, every decision in the house will have to be by head-count because “consensus has suffered and will continue to suffer” if that is how Majority wants them to run the Parliament.
First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu sitting on Tuesday in the absence of Speaker Alban Bagbin, said the decision to reject the Budget which was taken by the Minority caucus last Friday, was done in contravention of the Standing Orders of Parliament.
According to Joe Osei-Owusu, the rule is that not less than half the members of parliament should have been present at the time the decisionwas to be taken, however the records showed only 137 members (of the Minority) undertook the exercise.
The First Deputy Speaker based his decision on Article 104(1) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 109(1) of Parliament’s Standing Orders.
It would be recalled that Parliament on Friday evening, November 26, 2021, voted against the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government.
This was after the House concluded a debate on the Budget, with the Majority side walking out of the Chamber.
Through the voice vote, the House, with only the minority caucus present rejected the Budget when the Speaker asked the question, a few minutes to 8pm on Friday.
The Majority side had walked out of the Chamber and so when the Speaker put the question for those in favour or against, the “No” voice votes had it and there was no “YES” voice vote.