The Minority caucus in Parliament after staging a walk out of the parliamentary session left the Majority side to approve the 2022 budget after negotiations stalled between them.
The minority caucus in response to what the majority had done deemed their action as null and void because they did not have the numbers to go ahead to approve the budget.
In accordance with parliamentary practice, the headcount by the Clerk of Parliament revealed that there were 137 legislators belonging to the Majority caucus present with no Minority legislator but First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joseph Osei Owusu indicated that he was also present making it 138.
Majority leader Haruna Iddrissu still insisted that the decision taken by the 1st deputy Speaker was not in line with the standing orders of the house.
He reiterated that the Majority members were 137 and not 138 as suggested by the acting Speaker in Parliament.
“The Constitution says a deputy Speaker shall not retain his original vote while presiding so constitutionally they were also 137 so Ghanaians should expect that what they have done is also a nullity to quote them. The precedent they are setting will haunt them in the future.”
Voting in Parliament is guided by Order 108 of the standing orders and per its content, the Minority deems the action taken by their colleagues null and void.
“No question for decision in the House shall be proposed for determination unless there are present in the House not less than one-half of all the Members of the House, and, except otherwise provided in the Constitution, the Question proposed shall be determined by the majority of votes of the Members present and voting.’’
Also, “the Speaker shall have neither an original nor a casting vote and if upon any question before the House the votes are equally divided the motion shall be taken to be lost’.’
It also adds that “a Deputy Speaker or any other member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding’.’
Haruna Iddrisu said the Minority desires to see their concerns that were raised against the original budget statement to be addressed.
“If you are acknowledging and admitting that there were concessions, let it reflect in the statement,” he said.
There had been some prior discussions between both sides on portions of the budget, but unfortunately, consensus could not be reached.