The Majority side of the House walked out of the Chamber on Friday evening, and in their absence, the Speaker of the House Alban Bagbin conducted a vote on the budget with only the minority side present.
Speaking to newsmen after the purported rejection of the budget by Parliament, the Defence Minister called what happened inside the chamber a “Bagbin’s declaration” and urged the general public to ignore it.
The Defence Minister buttressed his point with Order 109 of Parliamentary rules, which says the Speaker requires more than half of members of the house, which is at least 138 members, before the Speaker can put a question.
At the time the Majority side walked out of the Chamber, the Minority side could not have had the 138 members, thereby nullifying the Speaker’s purported vote, Nitiwul explained.
The Defence Minister further explained that the house may have a quorum to take questions and statements but 138 ought to have been present for the Speaker to put a question.
WHY THE MAJORITY WALKED OUT
The Majority side of the House explained that the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta was in Parliament with a prayer to have the opportunity to accommodate the comments made by the minority into the budget.
Key among them were: request to include Ketamine relief efforts in the estimates, request to adjust the e-levy.
According to the majority side, these and other requests of the minority, led by Haruna Iddrisu require consultation and costing if the minister is to include them in the budget
Surprisingly, the same Minority who made the requests, as well as the Speaker, refused to give the Minister the opportunity to incorporate their requests.
While refusing the minister the opportunity, the speaker went further to ask the Finance Minister whose budget was being debated, to leave the chamber.
The Majority side further explain that while the Finance Minister was being asked to leave the Chamber, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NDC General Secretary was left seated and the Speaker ignored requests to ask all other strangers to leave the chamber and public galleries.
The Majority was of the view that Mr Speaker was acting in bad faith and being partisan at such a crucial national junction. The majority said it could not countermance an order by Mr Speaker for Marshals to take the Finance Minister out, hence the majority side consequently walked out.