The member of parliament penned down 14 points to explain everything surrounding the rejection of the 2022 budget which is trending across the country. The points below.
1. Parliament started the budget debates on a sectoral basis from Tuesday 23rd November 2021 and we were to conclude with the Minority and Majority Group Leaders wrapping up on Friday 26th November 2021.
2. The meeting for Friday had been scheduled to commence at 10am in the forenoon and was to see the Speaker put the question on the acceptance or otherwise on the motion to adopt the financial policy statement as delivered by the Finance Minister.
4. I proceeded to a meeting of the Leadership of the House on the 12th Floor of Job 600 with 10 other colleagues of mine to demand that the Speaker comes and start sitting at about 1pm. The Speaker indicated that they were just about done and actually descended before we did to his lobby.
5. The Speaker walked in and sitting commenced shortly afterwards still without any member of the NPP. The Speaker then informed us that the NPP said they were having a Caucus meeting and required 30 minutes. The Speaker suspended the House to our great anger for 30 minutes but he is the Speaker and his ruling is final.
6. The 30 minutes became almost 3 hours before the House was reconvened and the Minority Leader and Majority Leaders concluded their debates. This was after the Majority Leader had tried to get the House to accept a prayer from the Finance Minister.
7. After the conclusion of debates, the Speaker allowed the Finance Minister to make his application. His application was to pray for more time for consultation with the Minority. The Minority had made at least 4 specific demands. The Finance Minister was not specific on what he wanted to consult on.
8. As a Minority, we felt insulted that the Minister had stayed away from 3 previous days of debates and at the last minute shows up for 'consultation'. We were not interested in any of his shenanigans as he had shown bad faith.
9. When the Speaker put the prayer of the Minister to a vote, the Nays won the vote and so his request was shot down. We simply were not interested in any last minute consultations. The Deputy Majority Leader challenged the Speaker's ruling and requested for a VOTE BY DIVISION. This was a lawful request which the Speaker obliged him and proceeded to read the Standing Orders on a vote by division.
10. On the powers of Standing Orders 113 and 114, the Speaker asked that the lobbies be cleared and all non-MPs to vacate the Chamber Floor but not the public gallery. The Majority Group took offence with the ruling to vacate the Chamber of 4 Ministers and Deputy Ministers who were on the floor as the Speaker would have to put another voice vote on the basis of Standing Order 114(1). The Speaker reminded them that failure to comply would see the Marshall of Parliament escort them out.
11. The MP for Mpraeso, Davis Ansah Opoku then led a charge on the floor hurling invectives at the Speaker using the microphones in the Chamber. The Speaker repeatedly asked them to calm down and make their application on whatever was vexing them. They declined and kept screaming like elephants suffering from a severe bout of malaria and kept pointing at Mr. Asiedu Nketiah who was seated in the public gallery.
12. The first time MP who has barely spent 11 months in the House then proceeded to ask the entire Majority Group to vacate the Chamber Floor. Like Form 1 boys following the SP to the Headmaster's office, the 134 NPP MPs and the Independent MP obeyed the new MPs instruction. Clearly the front bench of the Majority Group failed to show any leadership. They were asleep to their responsibilities as leadership.
13. The rest my friend is history. The Speaker CONTINUED with the voting process that had commenced with 273 MPs in the Chamber. A walkout by the NPP on their own budget, shameful as it was, was actually a face saving last minute measure to avoid the defeat that awaited them with a head count.
14. Tomorrow, Parliament would continue it's business as usual as we await either an application to spend on account or notice of a new budget that adequately addresses the issues we raised. For GOD and Country.
Hon Sam George made this statement known on his social media wall today.
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