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2024 budget approval postponed as Majority boycotts Parliament

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has postponed the approval of the 2024 budget statement to Monday, December 4, 2023.

Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana's Finance Minister presenting the 2024 Budget in the Chamber of Parliament.

This decision was taken after members of the majority side failed to show up for the approval of the budget.

Parliament was expected to conduct a headcount on the approval of the 2024 budget today, November 30, 2023.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin on Wednesday, November 29, declared a voice vote on the approval of the budget in favor of the majority after the conclusion of the debate.

However, the minority caucus challenged the ruling and opted for a headcount, forcing the majority group to stage a walkout.

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According to them, the Speaker in his utterance following a voice vote on the floor had ruled in favor of the Majority side only to beat a U-turn after the Minority had challenged the voice vote and demanded a headcount.

They further accused the Speaker of employing delay tactics to ensure that members on the Minority side who were not in the chamber could rush in to be counted after the Speaker had demanded that members stand after their names were mentioned to be counted.

However, making a case for his alleged u-turn, the Speaker said he had merely uttered an opinion and had not delivered a ruling.

He said, “So throughout the practice when it’s an opinion, you say I think, I think, that is an opinion I’m expressing. I think the ayes have it. Now an opportunity is created for somebody to challenge the opinion and so when you read 113 (2) it doesn’t talk about ruling, it talks about the opinion that’s why it says a member may call for a headcount or division if the opinion of Mr Speaker on a voice vote is challenged.”

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Today in Parliament, the Speaker directed the business committee to reschedule the headcount to next week for a final decision to be taken on the budget.

According to him, the matter is not up for debate. Meanwhile, the minority caucus accused the majority of running away from the house.

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