Minority Chief Whip: Lack of permanent framework for dialogue among Parliament leadership worrying

Minority Chief Whip in Parliament, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, is worried over lack of a permanent framework for dialogue among leaders in the eighth Parliament given the current nature of the House in terms of its close numbers.  

He appealed to the Majority not to try to play it smart because Parliament was at crossroads, and appreciate the hung Parliament which both the Majority and the Minority must learn and no side could get its way easily.

“To avoid any side thinking that it can have its way easily, let us try and have structure that will probably deal with issues in future with common ground since recent happenings between my side and Majority, following controversial approval of the 2022 budget and issues arising thereof.

“I believe the failure of the two caucuses to reach consensus over their grievances on policy document can lead to breakdown in discussions,” Alhaji Muntaka, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase in the Ashanti Region, cautioned.

Commenting on formation of bi-partisan committee set up to resolve disagreements over approval or otherwise of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, he noted that “if we continue with politicking, I am afraid de-escalation may be difficult because the numbers are close, if it is about shouting, it will be difficult to say who is saying yes and who is saying no, if it is about vote and one person is not there, it may lead to tempers going high”.

The 20-member bi-partisan committee was set-up to de-escalate tension associated with approval of the 2022 budget statement and the Majority contends step taken by leaders of the two caucuses of the House  to find common ground on issues in a bid to prevent chaos or near violence on floor of Parliament and modalities as to how the committee will operate.

However, despite tussle over approval or otherwise of the 2022 budget statement, some committees of the House have commenced consideration for the 2022 fiscal year and the Ministries are expected to appear before their respective committees to justify budgetary allocation to be utilised.

There has been some disagreements in the House following rejection of the budget statement by the Minority on November 26, 2021, and subsequent approval by the Majority on November 30, 2021, for instance, there was chaos in Parliament after sit-in Speaker, First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, gave a ruling which did not favour the Minority Caucus.

The Minority, through its leader, Haruna Iddrisu, had challenged approval of the 2022 budget statement and requested motion be adopted to set aside approval because it was wrong for Mr Osei-Owusu, who chaired proceedings on November 30, 2021, to count himself as part of the Majority while he assumed the Speaker position.

However, after lengthy debate on the issue, Mr Osei-Owusu, who chaired the sitting in absence of the Speaker, turned down motion and subsequently, suspended sitting for an hour following confusion ensued after ruling, but upon resumption, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the Second Deputy Speaker assumed the Speaker’s seat and adjourned sitting. –citinewsroom.com

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