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General News of Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Source: myxyzonline.com

Bagbin breached procedures during budget debate – Egyapa Mercer

Andrew Egyapa Mercer is MP for Sekondi Andrew Egyapa Mercer is MP for Sekondi

Member of Parliament (MP) for Sekondi, Andrew Egyapa Mercer has said the 2022 budget and Economic Policy of the Government has not been rejected as being reported.

The Deputy Minister for Energy who spoke to Prince Kwame Minkah on Tonton Sansan on TV XYZ Monday morning indicated that the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin failed to adhere to the standing orders of the House before mentioning that the budget had been rejected.

Last Friday, November 26, 2021, the Majority in parliament staged a walkout, thereby preventing the House from continuing with the business of the day that included the approval of the 2022 budget. The majority walkout was 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.

That was after a request by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to meet with the leadership of the House was turned down by MPs while NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah was at the Public Gallery.

In all these, Egyapa Mercer, a legal practitioner, blamed the Speaker for the confusion.

“If you are asking our Finance Minister to leave, how do you ask your General Secretary who has no locus whatsoever in governance to be there?”Mercer quizzed and argued that “No budget has been rejected.”

“The motion is still in place…We will make a determination on the budget tomorrow [Tuesday],” he said passionately.

Debates

Whether or not the debate on the budget will be revived on Tuesday, some legal minds have been sharing their thoughts on the issue.

Ace Ankomah, a renowned lawyer has argued that the budget could not have been rejected.

“Parliament quorum is just 1/3 of members. But to take a decision, Parliament needs more than half of its members, which is now 138. So the issue is at which point the [matter] was put to vote. At that point, there should be at least 138 members in the house,” Ankomah said.

To him, if there wasn’t, the decision is invalid. If there was, the decision is valid. Life is very simple. Don’t allow politicians to make it complicated.”

His comment has received a sharp rebuttal from the South Dayi MP, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, who referred to Ace’s understanding as ridiculous, putting forward that parliament business of the day is more than a single decision.

“If Parliament is not already constituted to sit, how could they even arrive at a point where they need to make a decision? Parliamentary Business of the day is more than just a single decision. What a ridiculous understanding Ace has on this? Is Ace aware of Order 113 and 114?” Dafeamekpor who is also a lawyer noted.

Meanwhile, the Majority Caucus in Parliament has asked Ghanaians to disregard reports concerning the rejection of the 2022 budget by Parliament.

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