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General News of Thursday, 2 December 2021

Source: peacefmonline.com

2022 budget approval: I blame majority leadership for the mess - Kweku Baako

Kweku Baako play videoKweku Baako

Seasoned Journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has blamed leadership of the Majority in Parliament for the Minority's behavior in Parliament on Friday, November 26, 2021 regarding the purported "rejection" of the 2022 budget statement and Economic Policy.

It could be recalled that the Majority staged a walkout from Parliament while voting was about to take place on the budget, hence resulting in only the Minority voting, thereby rejecting it.

However, the budget has been approved by the Majority after they reconvened in Parliament on Tuesday, November 30, with the 1st Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu (Joewise), sitting in for the Speaker who is on a medical leave.

The "approval" of the budget comes after the Minority's vote was said to be unconstitutional as it breached the standing orders of Parliament which indicates that voting could be held when there is a majority, with at least half of all the members in Parliament; meaning the Minority voting on the budget didn't hold.

Reacting to this Parliamentary hubbub, Kweku Baako says the Majority leadership caused Friday's mess in Parliament.

''The beginning of all this mess, I blame the Majority leadership in Parliament and even to some extent the Executive. Timelines, timetable for the presentation of the budget was known to all of them. They also knew how long the debate would take and when the vote would take place," he said.

He asked; ''Where was the full complement of their numbers in Parliament?''

According to him, the Majority could have avoided the unpleasant incident if they had been proactive.

"Such an important document that they knew it would be subject to vote, especially the signals began at one stage that they, the Minority, will decide to play hardball. It wasn't going to look like the normal one, the 2017 budget, 2018 budget, 2019 budget. Certain things had been hyped giving signals that you don't continue to think that, 'oh, some good will be generated and that voice vote will just carry everything along, then the 'ayes' have it.' You prepare! You anticipate, especially when the signals came up!! Get all your members back to the jurisdiction and you see how they quickly organized them back in quote-unquote an emergency form."

He concluded that the Majority leadership wasn't sharp and smart in respect of this particular issue.

''This controversy would not have happened. So please, it's clear in my mind that there was a certain element of leadership failure on the part of the Majority in terms of their strategy, their tactics and the awareness and it must be said...In this particular specific case, I think they were not sharp. They weren't smart; this is what created all this mess. Otherwise, they would have had the budget passed (on Friday)," he exclaimed.

Kweku Baako made these submissions during Wednesday's edition of Peace FM's ''Kokrokoo''.