Approval of 2022 Budget: Entrenched positions by Parliament has implications – ACEPA

The African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) has warned that the entrenched positions taken by the Majority and the Minority of the House will have implications on parliamentary business and the nation’s democratic processes.

“If the current acrimony between the two sides is not addressed quickly, it will have dire consequences on the country’s democratic dispensation and wane investor confidence in the economy,” it observed.

The Majority voted to approve the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy after the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, declared as null and void Parliament’s rejection of the budget on November 26, 2021, and indicated that the rejection of the budget by 137 minority members was unconstitutional and Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, erred in his ruling.

However, the Minority Caucus has shot down Parliament’s approval of the 2022 budget by the Majority and Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, at a press conference on November 30, 2021, insisted that the action by Mr Owusu was null and void since the Majority did not have the required number for approval of the budget.

“The Constitution says a deputy Speaker shall not retain his original vote while presiding, so constitutionally they were also 137, so Ghanaians should expect what they have done is also a nullity and the precedent they are setting will haunt them in the future,” he intimated.

Regardless, Dr Rasheed Draman, the Executive Director of ACEPA, suggested that both sides of the House should begin to dialogue rather than take entrenched positions and thus entreated leadership of the two sides to walk on a path of building bridges rather than taking entrenched political positions.

“Some would say winners and losers, so there are winners on Friday and losers on Monday, and also losers on Friday and winners on Monday which is an interesting development, and we wait to see what happens in the coming days, but at the end of it all, the two sides cannot run away from trying to build bridges.

“It is important, otherwise, the acrimony that we see is not going to augur well for the rest of the time that we have with the eighth parliament,” Dr Draman cautioned. –

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