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Paul Adom-Otchere, the host of Good Evening Ghana, has said events of Friday, November 26, were manifest illegality that violates clauses of the 1992 Constitution which shouldn’t have happened.
Speaking at an early Editorial broadcast before his main show later today, Adom-Otchere, indicated that after 28 years of experience, Alban Bagbin should not have claimed that 137 constitutes the minimum number of MPs required to reject the 2022 budget presented by Ken Ofori-Atta.
He said, Speaker Bagbin was blatantly wrong with his decision because Article 102 of the Constitution says a quorum in Parliament shall be one-third of all the MPs after the person presiding and that when it comes to voting, Article 104 which the Speaker violated states that Parliament should consist of half of the MPs; out of 275 MPs, half is 137.5 or 138 rounding up to a whole number.
“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,” Article 104 (1) of the Constitution said.
This provision, Paul Adom-Otchere said was collaborated in the Standing Orders of Parliament.
He explained, Standing Order 109(1) said, “No question for the decision in the House shall be proposed for determination unless there are present in the House not less than one-half of all the Members of the House, and, except otherwise provided in the Constitution, the question proposed shall be determined by the majority of the votes of the Members present and voting.”
“Either party with 137 is unable to qualify for the Article 104 consideration before the Speaker puts the question. It means whenever the Speaker wants to put the question, he has to be sure that the members in the House are more than 137.
“If the number required is 137.5 then 137 is wholly wrong and 138 is wholly correct. On Friday, when Alban Bagbin had 137 in the House and he puts the question, he was totally wrong because 137.5 is lower than 137 of NDC members. The only number that can allow the Speaker to put the question is 138…the Speaker should have ceased the business [on Friday].
“Because with 137, he ought not to have put the question. You can’t put the question in Parliament under the Constitution we have approved for ourselves as a people since 1992…what the Speaker did on Friday was blatantly wrong, what he did was manifestly wrong, he violated the Constitution, he was totally illegal,” Paul Adom-Otchere stressed.
On Friday, November 26, Parliament rejected the 2022 Budget following a series of heated exchanges between members of the two Caucuses.
Infuriated by the turn of events, the Majority, led by Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu staged a walkout after alleging ‘bias’ and ‘disrespect’ on the part of the Speaker, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin.
Proceedings however continued unabated, following which the Minority threw out the Budget, with 137 of its members, present, and voting. The Majority subsequently reacted, describing the Minority’s decision as ‘unconstitutional’.