December 1, 2021

Parliament on Wednesday recorded some chaotic scenes when the presiding Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu attempted to rule on a motion by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrusu to overturn Tuesday’s Budget approval.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu coming under Order 50(1) of the Standing Orders pleaded with the Speaker to set aside the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy held on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

Basing his arguments on the votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 30th November, 2021, he said “the decision which was taken yesterday in adopting purportedly the budget statement subject to concessions in that statement was unconstitutional, in betrayal of our rules and standing orders, and betrayal of the 1992 Constitution.”

He also registered his displeasure with the process, stating that it was unlawful for the presiding Speaker to include himself in the quorum to take a decision on the floor of the House. He said; “Mr. Speaker, particularly so, that you in the chair added yourself to the number of members that made the quorum.”

Averting the minds of the Speaker to Order 48 (1): “The presence of at least one-third of all the Members of Parliament besides the person presiding shall be necessary to constitute a quorum of the House”, he contend that the House was 137 and not 138 since the Speaker could not have counted himself to the number to form a quorum for such a decision.

He said Tuesday’s “decision is illegal, that decision is unconstitutional; just as 137 cannot  take a decision, the same 137 cannot overturn it”

The Minority Leader also asserts that the so-called concessions alluded to by the finance minister are not before the House, hence the House cannot accommodate them.

He called for the proper thing to be done, urging the finance minister to make those corrections in the budget to reflect the concession because Parliament is a House of record, and until that is done, they would rely on what is in the document before the House and “not in someone’s mind”.

An attempt by the presiding Speaker to rule on the motion was fiercely rejected by the Minority stating procedural error on the part of the Speaker.

This resulted in some chaotic scene on the floor of the House forcing the Speaker to summarily suspend the House for an hour, only for the House to resume with the Second Deputy Speaker in the chair.

Dominic Shirimori/