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The African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) has warned that the entrenched position taken by each side of the house will have implications on parliamentary business and Ghana’s democratic process.
According to the think tank, if the current acrimony between the two sides is not addressed quickly, it would have dire consequences on the country’s democracy.
The Majority voted to approve the 2022 Budget after the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, declared as null and void Parliament’s rejection of the budget last Friday, November 26, 2021.
The First Deputy Speaker indicated that the rejection of the budget statement by 137 minority members was unconstitutional and that the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, erred in his ruling.
However, the Minority Caucus has shot down Parliament’s approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy by the Majority.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, at a press conference on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, insisted that the action is null and void since the Majority does not have the required number for approval of the budget.
“The Constitution says a deputy Speaker shall not retain his original vote while presiding, so constitutionally they were also 137, so Ghanaians should expect that what they have done is also a nullity to quote them. The precedent they are setting will haunt them in the future.”
Regardless, the Executive Director of the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr. Rasheed Draman, in a Citi News interview suggested that both sides should begin to dialogue rather than take entrenched positions.
He thus asked leadership of the two sides to walk on a path of building bridges rather than taking entrenched political positions.
“Some would say winners and losers. So there were winners on Friday and losers on Monday, and also losers on Friday and winners on Monday. This is a very interesting development, and we wait to see what happens in the coming days. But at the end of it all, the two sides cannot run away from trying to build bridges which is very important, otherwise, the acrimony that we see is not going to augur well for the rest of the time that we have with this Parliament.”