Parliament of Ghana has rejected the 2022 budget statement the economic policy of finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta presented to the house.
This is after majority members of the house staged a walk out following disagreement over voice vote which did not favour them.
After they boycotted the parliamentary business, the speaker had a break for some time to give majority members a chance to return to the chambers.
But some of them failed to return, Speaker Alban Bagbin said “I won’t allow government to frustrate lawful duty of parliament.”
“This hung parliament of 137-137, the independent decided to do business plus one side of thee majority but no presence of majority leader inside the house,” he add.
Why Majority MPs walk out of parliament
Ruling government MPs who are in majority requested that the General Secretary of the opposition, National Democratic Congress (NDC) should have left the public gallery.
They made this request earlier on, the Speaker of Parliament per the standing orders demand that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta should leave the chambers.
The demand for the Finance Minister to leave the chambers because of the majority MPs call for what parliament refers to as ‘division’ caused the disagreement plus the Speaker interpretation of voice vote earlier.
But based on the standing order, once the house demand for ‘division,’ people who are not MPs should leave the floor, so that demand the Finance Minister should leave the house.
But the majority MPs, who saw it as a form of retaliation also requested the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, to leave the public gallery where members of the general public sat to observe proceedings in the house.
But as he refused to leave and the Speaker did not force him out, the members had to walk out of the chamber.
How they rejected the 2022 budget
After speaker take a break for some 15 mins and he returned, business of the house continues with the number of minority members for parliament that formed the quorum.
He now proceeded with the voice vote on whether to approve the budget or reject it through voice vote.
The minority MPs give a resounding No, the speaker accepted the voice vote which led to the rejection of the 2022 budget.
According to minority members, the newly introduced 1.75% mobile money tax is one of the main reasons for rejecting the budget.
This is the untold hardships that would bring on Ghanaians who had been suffering already.
This is apart from the introduction of 1.75% mobile money tax and other things which the minority say government should address.
Government reaction to budget rejection
Ruling NPP members for parliament said the rejection of the budget did not happen constitutionally, so the budget cannot be rejected.
K.T Hammond, MP for Adansi Asokwa said members will return to Parliament House on Tuesday to deal with the situation.