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General News of Thursday, 2 December 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Why Kweku Baako blames Majority leadership for budget rejection

Majority members walking out of the Chamber

Kweku Baako is blaming both the executive and Majority leadership for the rejection of the budget

The Majority walked out from Parliament on Friday when the budget was rejected

It was, however, approved on Tuesday, November 30


Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr, the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, has laid the blame for the Minority Caucus in Parliament's initial rejection of the 2022 budget statement squarely on the leaders of the Majority Caucus and to some extent the executive.

Speaking on Wednesday, December 1 edition of Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Morning Show, monitored by GhanaWeb, Kweku Baako said, the Majority leadership knew the timelines or timetables for the presentation of the budget and subsequently the debate that follows, yet, they failed to invite their members who were out to the jurisdiction to be present to take part in these activities.

He explained to Kwami Sefa Kayi that, “Look, Kwami, how did we get to this point? I’m being very very frank with you and I have told some of the leaders what I’m going to say; the beginning of all this mess, I blame the Majority leadership in Parliament and at least even to some extent the executive.

“Kwami, timelines, timetables for the presentation of the budget was known to all of them they also knew how long the debate will take and when the voting will take place, where was the full complement of their numbers?

“Look, there were three or so of them outside the jurisdiction, some has been there months before and such an important document and they knew that it will be subjected to votes, especially [when] the signals began on one stage that 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 'an emergency form'?"

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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, November 26)," he added.

Parliament on Tuesday, November 30, approved the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government presented by Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17.

The budget was approved in the absence of MPs from the Minority, who declined to participate in the business of the day.

In their absence, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta re-submitted the 2022 Budget, which was unanimously approved by the Majority MPs including the Speaker.

The sitting on Tuesday was delayed by hours of meetings between the Majority and Minority leadership aimed at exploring how to cure what has been termed by the Majority as unconstitutionality by Speaker Alban Bagbin.