The North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has noted that the Majority’s decision to approve the rejected 2022 budget is a declaration of war against Speaker Alban Bagbin and Ghanaians.
He communicated this in a tweet briefly after the Majority Group in Parliament on Tuesday rescinded Speaker Alban Bagbin’s decision on the 2022 budget and approved the budget without the presence of the Minority.
According to the legislator, this act of war “is just the beginning.”
Declaration of war against the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament and the Ghanaian people.— Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa (@S_OkudzetoAblak) November 30, 2021
This is just the beginning.
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa further explained that it is unclear what sort of budget the House approved since the Finance Minister communicated to Parliament that several concessions have been made following some conditions set by the Minority.
The concessions, included the ‘provision made for Blekusu Coastal Protection Project to combat tidal waves, Agyapa expunged, Aker narrative amended, Benchmarks reviewed and E-levy reduction to 1.50 from 1.75%.
The concessions listed above he stated alter the shape and form of the 2022 budget initially presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta; therefore hinting at the possible presentation of a new budget before its approval.
“..So what exactly has the sham approval approved? Particularly, when these fundamental concessions are not properly before the House for approval.
“Did their unconstitutional conduct purport to approve the rejected budget or they approved a new budget with the said concessions?” he quizzed.
Meanwhile, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa has predicted interesting times ahead in Parliament since “this is only the beginning in the first stage of the budget approval process.”
According to him, ahead of the House are the consideration of estimates, bills on proposed new taxes and the Appropriation Act.
Minority’s response to approval of budget
The Minority in Parliament has described as unconstitutional, the decision by their Majority counterparts to approve the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in their absence.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu stressed that the purported approval of the 2022 Budget by the Majority is a slap in the face of the law; basing his assertions on Article 104 (3) of the Constitution, and standing order 109 of Parliament.
According to him, the combined effect of the two provisions, read in a purposive manner, points to a manifest illegality on the part of the Majority, as they did not have the required numbers to approve the Budget.
The Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South, bemoaned the unconstitutionality masterminded by his colleagues in the Majority.
“Therefore if they claim that they respect the Constitution, they must respect the fact that today’s decision is a constitutional nullity because the Deputy Speaker has no original or casting vote. Nothing more. And therefore, they were at best, 137”, Haruna Iddrisu explained.
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