Review simple majority for passing budget – ACEPA

The African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs has suggested that the simple majority requirement for passing motions in Parliament should be amended.

“On matters as important as the budget, we need to begin to think about whether we need something more than a simple majority,” it said.

The Centre noted that demanding more than a simple majority would force both the Majority and the Minority in Parliament at all times to negotiate and see reason in the issues being raised by the citizenry.

Dr Rasheed Dramani, the Executive Director of ACEPA, said but as issues stood, the mode of making decisions did not give citizens what they were looking for and Minority in Parliament would not use more stringent approval criteria to halt government business.

He noted that the Minority should be mindful of how much disruption they could cause without bringing the negative consequences on themselves, and raised concerns that followed the walkouts from both sides of Parliament on different occasions over the approval of the 2022 budget.

The budget was first rejected after a walkout from the Majority side in Parliament and this was then overturned by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, who was serving as the Speaker of Parliament, after he included himself in the total number of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House, before having the motion for the reversal of the rejection of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy moved.

His inclusion pushed the number of the Majority Caucus, MPs, to 138, one more than the Minority and the First Deputy Speaker then pushed for the motion and contended that the rejection of the budget by the Minority was erroneous and insisted that there was no clear majority in the House during the proceedings.

What followed has been a debate over whether Mr Owusu was in his right to retain the privileges of an MP for a vote while serving as the Speaker of the House and to address the contentions, the leadership of Parliament has constituted a bi-partisan Committee to resolve the disagreements over the status of the budget statement. –

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