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138 MPs were present before the budget was rejected; Alban Bagbin sets the records straight

The Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana has been by far the most dynamic in the history of the country. With the number of the minority just one shy that of the majority, many governance experts predicted drama right from the onset, and suggested the majority will have to engage their counterparts more to build a consensus. The events that characterized the 2022 budget have affirmed what the analysts predicted.

On Friday, November 26, the 2022 budget was rejected after the majority staged a walkout. The majority caucus has however come out to say the rejection of the budget was grounded in illegality and Ghanaians should treat it with all the contempt it deserves. According to them, the constitutional requirements of article 104 of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Order 109 of Parliament, stipulate that, for any determination to be made on the budget, more than half of the elected Members of Parliament must be present. In effect, the 137 Members of Parliament for the minority that rejected the budget is inadequate.

However, in a sharp rebuttal, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Bagbin, has stated categorically that, it was not 137 MPs that were in the chamber when the budget was rejected, but 138. Right Honourable Alban Bagbin, who is currently in the United Arab Emirates for medical examination, made this known in a Facebook post.

According to the Speaker, after the rejection of the request by the Minister of Finance to be given more time to consult the expanded leadership of Parliament, one member of the majority caucus came to sit at the last role of the majority side, hence the number became 138. The Speaker however pointed out that, the majority MP, whose name he did not disclose, remained silent when the question was put to the Plenary by him ( Speaker).

Alban Bagbin has therefore described the assertion by the majority as survival antics and asked Ghanaians to disregard it.

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