KT Hammond claims the budget was unconstitutionally rejected
He said, the matter is still alive
And they revisit the subject of the budget on Tuesday
Kobina Tahir (K. T.) Hammond, Member of Parliament, Adansi-Asokwa constituency, has indicated that the 2022 budget statement of government has not been constitutionally rejected by Parliament.
According to him, the matter is still alive and the Majority MPs will deal with the issue when the House reconvenes on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
K. T. Hammond denied that his side boycotted the 2022 budget debate. He explained, “We didn’t boycott [the 2022 budget debate]. We had to reorganize a few things; we’ll deal with it when we come back on Tuesday.”
“The matter is alive,” he said. “Parliament has not constitutionally rejected our budget.”
When asked what Parliament has done on Friday, November 26, 2021, Hammond told reporters at the lobby of the chamber that, “meet us on the floor on Tuesday. Tuesday, November 30, 2021, meet us on the floor of this Parliament. This House has not constitutionally rejected the budget, underline it.”
K. T. Hammond further stressed “we will be back on Tuesday” to reporters who wanted further clarity as to why he was insisting that the 2022 budget statement of government had not been rejected.
“Calm down, just listen, just listen, listen to me; I am saying that, this Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, has unconstitutionally rejected it – get the distinction right. On Tuesday, mark my words, this budget has not been constitutionally rejected and we will revisit it. Ghanaians will get everything comprehensively on Tuesday and I am not giving you more details,” he told reporters.
‘Parliament has unconstitutionally rejected the 2022 budget’ – K. T. Hammond
Parliament, on Friday, November 26 rejected the government’s 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy read in the House by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, last week.
A walkout by the Majority from Parliament did not prevent the House from continuing with the business of the day.
Members on the majority side staged a walkout after a disagreement over a voice vote which did not go in their favour.
“Clearly, the No’s have it. The motion is accordingly lost”, the Speaker ruled.
Parliament was to conclude the debate on the 2022 budget statement and approve the policy document on the said day.
A last-minute request by the Finance Minister to meet with the leadership of the House was turned down by MPs after the Speaker of Parliament announced that the ‘Nos’ had won the voice vote.
Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, thus challenged the Speaker’s interpretation of the voice vote and called for a ‘division’.
Bagbin subsequently directed that, per orders of the House, non-MPs had to vacate the Chamber during the division process.
“As the Speaker, I will do all I can, not to allow the government to obstruct or frustrate parliament in its lawful duty. That is a pledge to the people of Ghana, and there is a reason why the good people of Ghana elected this parliament. It is hung parliament of 137-137, the independent who decided to do business with one side of the majority, there is no majority party in this House. This is a new beginning, where for the first time, a Majority has walked out from its own business,” Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin stated.
While vacating the Chamber, the Majority MPs demanded that the General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who was sitting in the public gallery at the time, must also exit the House.
He ignored this request.
This infuriated the Majority MPs who walked out of the Chamber, leaving only members on the Minority side.
The Speaker of Parliament thus suspended the sitting for five minutes.
He subsequently came back to the House to continue with proceedings.