The Majority Caucus in Parliament has stated what they say is the unconstitutionality associated with a vote purportedly rejecting the 2022 Budget as presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17, 2021.
In a statement issued late Friday, November 26, 2021, after the 137 Minority MPs voted to reject the Budget, the Majority cited among other reasons the need for at least 138 MPs in the house for the vote to be valid.
They cited two laws that they said needed to be read together – i.e. Article 104 of the 1992 Constitution and Order 109 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.
“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.”
Whiles accusing Speaker Alban Bagbin of acting on his boast to obstruct government business, the statement added that failure to grant the Finance Minister audience with a request to delay the approval vote was a sign of a predetermined motive to frustrate government business.
It said they refused to give the Finance Minister an opportunity to accommodate their requests and instead hurriedly moved on their own to vote against the Budget in a bid to subject the government of Ghana to embarrassment for partisan reasons.”
The statement stressed the unconstitutionality of the rejection vote and concluded thus: “We assure the good people of Ghana of our resolute willingness to ensure that the 1992 Constitution is respected to the letter by Speaker Bagbin and the Minority.”
A one-sided House (the Minority Caucus) voted to reject the 2022 Budget presented before the house by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17.
The Majority Group had earlier walked out of the House after a disagreement with the Speaker on his order to have all non-MPs leave the house for a crucial vote.
The vote in question was to determine whether a request by the Finance Minister for Parliament to give him time to consult with the leadership of the house on aspects of the budget before the approval vote is held.
Bagbin later allowed the 137 Minority MPs to vote on the Minister’s prayer, which was rejected before they also voted en bloc to reject the 2022 budget as presented by Ofori-Atta.