Parliament on Friday rejected the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on November 17, 2021.
All 137 Minority Members of Parliament (MPS) voted against the motion when the question was put by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.
The Majority Caucus had earlier walked out of the Chamber over a misunderstanding with the Speaker.
Before the rejection of the budget statement, the House voted to dismiss an application by the Finance Minister to withhold vote on the budget to allow for further consultation with the leadership of both the Majority and Minority, especially on the introduction of the Electronic Levy (E-Levy) and a request to include the Blekusu Sea Defence Project in the budget.
Speaker Bagbin, before the vote, had called for a headcount of all the members present in the Chamber to know if the House had a quorum.
Satisfied with the numbers, he then put the question on the prayer by the Finance Minister to be allowed to have more discussions with stakeholders on the budget, which was rejected by the House.
The Speaker proceeded to put the question on the motion for the approval of the budget statement and economic policy of a government, which was also rejected by the House.
Meanwhile, the Majority Caucus, at a press conference addressed by Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Majority Leader, stated that the decision to reject the budget was unconstitutional because the number required for such a decision was not met and as such, null and void.
He said the motion on the budget had not been pronounced by Parliament and that it was still standing in the name of the Minister of Finance.
He said a “properly” constituted House would make a decision in the “fullness of time.”
“The Speaker quoted article 102 of the Constitution that quorum of Parliament apart from the one presiding shall be one-third of all Members of Parliament.
“When it comes to decision making it is not Article 102 that applies but rather Article 104 that comes to play,” the Majority Leader emphasized.
Article 104 says, “except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, matters in Parliament shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present and voting, with at least half of all the members of Parliament present.”
Meanwhile, many Ghanaians in the capital city have expressed satisfaction upon hearing the news. Earlier his week, there have been many calls from some organizations for Parliament to reject the budget, with particular concerns over the introduction of the E-Levy.