The North Tongu MP has disclosed that the absence of the Minority group in Parliament on Tuesday, when the 2022 budget was approved was in the best interest of the House.

According to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, there would have been a recurrence of the January 7, 2021 ‘showdown’, if the Minority Group were in the Chamber. It would have been a full-blown conflict. It would have gotten quite nasty,” he said.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday, he said that “It was either we go in there to put up a fight which could have degenerated into something else. But we thought that look, let’s conduct ourselves honourably.

“Let’s be peaceful. Let us just sit back and observe as they fall on their own sword. And then we would seek remedies. So far as we are concerned, what happened yesterday is not the finality. We (Minority Group) are clear in our minds that it is an unconstitutionality. It is a nullity. It is void. They (Majority Group) didn’t even have the numbers to take the decision.

“If you look at standing order 109, 2, and 3, they have come up with this very very interesting interpretation that the Deputy Speaker must be treated differently from the Speaker. The quote order 109, 2 which provides that Mr Speaker shall have neither an original nor a casting vote and if upon any question before the house, the votes are equally divided, the motion shall be lost. But then they are taking strengths in standing order 109, 3 which says that a Deputy Speaker or any other member presiding shall not retain his original vote while presiding.

Explaining further, Mr Ablakwa said that the standing order stops at the original vote, and it’s silent on a casting vote.

“So they (Majority Group) have been threatening that they will apply this and the Deputy Speaker, even if there’s a tie, the Deputy Speaker would cast a casting vote. But it’s not there in the standing orders.

“It’s not there but they are saying that there is that lacuna which they are going to exploit. Because when it comes to the Speaker, it is clearly stated that the Speaker does not have an original vote and a casting vote. But when it comes to the Deputy Speaker, it only an original vote which is provided for.”

He said that the 2022 Budget would be reviewed when Speaker, Alban Bagbin returns from his medical examination in Dubai.

He revealed that the Minority group will issue a formal request to ensure that the decision made by the Majority group in approving the 2022 budget, is reviewed.

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