Parliament rejects the 2022 Budget as Parliament walked out of the chamber en masse.
The Minority side of the Fourth Republic’s eighth parliament voted to reject the government’s 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, which was delivered on the House floor by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021.
Parliament rejects the 2022 Budget
Prior to the rejection, the Minister of Finance addressed the House with a prayer, requesting that the approval process be halted to allow the administration to engage the legislative leadership on the implementation of the electronic transactions levy (E-Levy) indicated in the 2022 Budget Statement.
Following the Finance Minister’s prayer, the Speaker put it to a voice vote, ruling that those opposed to the prayer had won out over those in favor.
The Majority, through Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin, objected to the Speaker’s decision and requested that the vote on the Finance Minister’s request be retaken through the division process.
The Minority side asked that the Finance Minister, who is not a Member of Parliament but has the ability to participate in legislative operations under the 1992 constitution, leave the chamber before the vote.
Following the Finance Minister’s departure, the Majority side ordered that the National Democratic Congress’s general secretary, Johnson Aseidu Nketiah, who was sat in the Public Gallery of Parliament, likewise leave the room before the vote was retaken.
Following the NDC general secretary’s refusal to leave the chamber’s Public Gallery, the Majority side staged a walkout.
The Speaker continued the House’s work without the Majority side after a brief stoppage of proceedings.
“Clearly, the No’s have it,” the Speaker said after putting the subject of the 2022 Budget to a voice vote in the half-empty house. As a result, the motion is defeated.”
“I’m being slandered”
Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin chastised the Minority Caucus for exposing him to public ridicule by their actions and words as a result of his decision to postpone today’s session (26 November).
The Speaker of the House of Commons called a 30-minute recess to allow Majority members who were in a caucus meeting to return to the chamber.
The House, on the other hand, delayed over two hours to restart sitting, prompting Minority members to protest, sing songs, and heckle the House leadership.
Speaker Bagbin, plainly dissatisfied with the Minority’s activities, stated that he had a reputation to defend in serving the country.
As the House proceeded to vote on the 2022 Budget, the Speaker noted the delay was caused by an audience he granted the Minister of Finance and leaders of both parties in Parliament.
“I’m saying the suspension was for 30 minutes, but it’s taken us two hours or more to return, and that’s because there’s been a fresh development in the subject matter that we’re going to talk about… I also need to be briefed as Speaker.
“So your leaders came to brief me with the Minister of Finance.” Should I ignore them and come in to preside since I’ve had a 30-minute break from sitting?
“Look at how I’m being attacked in the media.” Please, my reputation is the only thing I have… “Please, Members of Parliament, let us be honorable,” the Speaker remarked.