Majority participated in budget voting – Rickets Hagan

Ricketts Hagan Budget Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, Kwaku George Ricketts Hagan

Sat, 27 Nov 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Majority tags rejection of 2022 budget as unconstitutional

Majority boycotts 2022 budget voting process

Hagan insists Asiedu Nketia had every right to observe proceedings from gallery

Opposition Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, Kwaku George Ricketts Hagan has insisted that the majority side of the house cannot claim that it did not participate in the approval voting for the 2022 budget statement and economic policy.

The Speaker of Parliament on Friday, November 26, 2021, ruled on the budget as having been rejected by the house after the majority side staged a walkout before a question was put to the house for approval.

With the majority side out of the chamber, the Minority shouted nay in disapproval of the budget. The budget was thus rejected as ruled by the speaker.

The majority side subsequent to the speaker's ruling had argued that on the basis of article 104 of the 1992 Constitution, the rejection of the budget was unconstitutional.

But speaking in an interview with GhanaWeb, Mr Rickets Hagan said the argument by the majority that not more than half of the MPs participated in the voting process as required by the constitution was untrue.

He argued that having signed the attendance book and participated in other voting processes leading to the budget approval vote, the Majority MPs were part of the process and cannot claim otherwise.

The finance minister on Friday moved for parliament to vote on the budget. Prior to that, however, he moved that the speaker allowed him to engage leaders of both sides on some issues.

During voting on whether the minister should be allowed to engage the leaders, the speaker ruled on the motion as rejected based on a voice vote.

The majority however raised objection to the speaker’s ruling following which they staged a walkout.

“For the leader to be sure as to whether he heard right or did not hear right, is to empty the chamber of anyone who should not be part of the voting. They may be part of proceedings as article 111 in the constitution allows but the same article 111 says except when we are voting.

“The voting if it was by headcount, you could say that they could be in the room and when we stand, they will not stand. But because it is voice, you cannot tell on the floor of parliament, not the gallery who said yes and who said no, and whether they had the right to do it or not. So the only way is to empty and that is why the issue of Asiedu Nketia also must go came in,” he explained on the issue that led the majority to walk out.

After objecting to the ruling against the finance minister’s motion to engage leaders of both sides, the majority MPs raised an objection calling for a revote. The speaker then asked the finance minister to exit the floor but the majority who were infuriated by the directive insisted that the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who was also seated at the public gallery be made to exit the chamber as well.

The refusal of the speaker to order Mr Asiedu Nketia out of the chamber caused the Majority to boycott proceedings leaving only the minority to vote on budget.

But according to Rickets Hagan, nothing stops the NDC general secretary from being in the gallery of parliament as the finance minister could have also opted to monitor the vote from there.

“Asiedu Nketia is a citizen of Ghana and the gallery is a public gallery. There is no constitutional provision that says that if you sit in the gallery, you cannot watch vote proceedings,” he stated.

Meanwhile, parliament is expected to reconvene on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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