While it is presently no news that the Majority in Parliament staged a walkout on Friday, what is unclear is the reason for that unprecedented action.
Unprecedented because, it is hardly the practice in Ghana for the party that holds majority of seats in Parliament, for whatever reason, to refuse to come to the House to debate issues of national concern.
Particularly so, when the House is on the cusp of reaching a decision on an important motion; approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.
But Peacefmonline.com has uncovered the very reasons which led to Friday’s uncommon action.
Painstaking investigations reveal that three reasons culminated in the action by the Majority; and all have a bearing on what the group felt was the partisanship conduct of the Speaker, Rt Hon Alban Kinsford Sumana Bagbin.
According to Peacefmonline credible sources, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, reported to the House with a request to have the opportunity to incorporate some viewpoints made by the minority into the budget.
Key among them were;
– request to include allocations made for phase two of the sea defence project in Keta
– request to adjust the e-levy.
Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who moved the application on behalf of Ken Ofori-Atta argued the move is to afford the minister the chance to address the above concerns of the minority in order to secure consensus.
Peacefmonline.com has reliably informed these requests, amongst others, were mooted by the Minority, led by Haruna Iddrisu, and would have required consultation and costing if the minister was to include them in the budget.
However, the Majority had the shock of their lives when the same minority who made the requests, appeared unwilling to accede to the request of the minister.
The Minority’s stance was unfortunately, also backed by the Speaker, Peacefmonline can confirm.
The speaker ruled the minister can only address parliament after the minority was done with the debate.
Why Sack Ken And Allow Gen Mosquito?
While refusing him the opportunity, the Speaker went further to ask the finance minister to leave the chamber since he was not a Member of Parliament.
But perhaps what really gored the Majority was the presence of Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NDC General Secretary, in the House.
Additionally, Peacefmonline is informed that the Speaker’s attention was drawn to the presence of other “strangers” in the Chamber and public galleries who as required by law, had no right to be present at that material time. But the repeated calls on the Speaker to compel these people to leave fell on deaf ears.
The Majority thus came to the conclusion that the Speaker is acting in bad faith and partisan in his decisions.
Budget Is Not Rejected!
“The majority is of the view that it cannot countenance an order by Mr Speaker for Marshals to take the Finance Minister out. The majority consequently walked out,” a leading member of the Majority who wants to remain anonymous told Peacefmonline.
“Order 109 says the Speaker requires 138 members at least before he can put a question. He may have a quorum to take questions and statements but he needs 138 to put a question.
“Any decision that is taken with less than 138 people in the chamber is void. Ghanaians should disregard the claim that the budget is rejected,” the source from the Majority side added.