Political Analyst and one-time political science lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr Richard Amoako Baah, says Parliamentarians must be ashamed of their actions during the vote on the proposed 2022 budget last week.
According to him, their actions only portrayed their ignorance of the constitution, making them look unfit to make decisions in the interest of the nation.
“What happened in Parliament was a disgrace as we looked on at our MPs act like they knew nothing of the law. They know nothing about the constitution and that is why they always fight in parliament,” he stated.
Parliament has voted against the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the government.
This was after the House concluded a debate on the Budget on Friday evening [Nov 26, 2021] and the Majority side walked out of the Chamber.
The Speaker, Alban Bagbin asked for those in favour of the approval of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the government for the year ending December 31, 2022, and there was no approval voice vote as the Majority side had empty seats.
When the question for those against was posed, the Minority side responded with a loud “No” voice vote.
The Speaker then went ahead to announce that, “Honourable members, clearly the ‘NOs’ have it and it is accordingly lost”.
However, legal minds have come out to say the vote was null as it did not meet the requirement stipulated in the constitution.
In an interview with Don Kwabena Prah on the Epa Hoa Daben political talk show, Dr Richard Amoako Baah reacting to speculations parliament did not meet this requirement quoted article 104 of the 1992 constitution. He insisted if conditions spelt out by the constitution were not met, then the vote was invalid.
Article 104 of the constitution focuses on voting in Parliament.
Article 104 (1) 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.
(2) The Speaker shall have neither an original nor casting vote.
(3) Where the votes on any motion are equal it shall be taken to be lost.
(4) Where Parliament is considering a bill to amend the Constitution, or where the voting is about the election or removal of any person under this Constitution or under any other law, voting shall be in secret.
(5) A member who is a party to or a partner in a firm that is a party to a contract with the Government shall declare his interest and shall not vote on any question relating to the contract.