Speaker of Parliament has vowed to protect the independence of the House
He says the House will not allow itself to be bullied by the government
The house disapproved of the 2022 budget on November 26
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has stressed that it will not be under his watch that the Executive will be allowed to frustrate or obstruct Parliament.
Bagbin was speaking on Friday evening after a one-sided House 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.
In his remarks after the vote, Bagbin said: “Hon. Members early in the days after my election as Speaker, I did pledge to the good people of this country through you that I will do everything in my power not to obstruct government business.
“I did so expecting reciprocity. That government will also do everything not to also frustrate or obstruct the business of Parliament. As your Speaker, I will do all I can not to allow govt to obstruct or frustrate Parliament in its lawful duty. That is a pledge to the good people of Ghana.”
The Speaker further waded into the issue of the composition of the House, stressing that there was only a Majority Group because of one independent candidate’s decision to work with the New patriotic party.
“There is a good reason why the good people of Ghana elected this Parliament to be a hung parliament. Those who pretend to say near hung, it is a hung Parliament of 137 – 137.
The independent who decided to do business with one side, made them Majority Group. There is no majority party in this house. I want to repeat it, there is no majority party in this house,” he added.
The Majority Group meanwhile have lambasted the Speaker accusing him of unconstitutionally presiding over a process that was illegal. They have vowed to return to Parliament when the next sitting resumes to correct the anomaly.