By: Edzorna Francis Mensah
The approval of the budget statement and economic policy of the government for the year ending 31st December 2024 hangs in the air as it resurfaced on the order paper for the twenty second sitting of the third meeting on Thursday 30th November, 2023.
The motion captured as item 10 on the Order Paper as part of the agenda for the day reads;” (moved on Wednesday 15th November 2023 by the Hon Minister for Finance Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta and seconded on Tuesday 21st November 2023 by Hon. Member for Ofoase/Ayirebi, Mr. Koji Oppong Nkrumah) Headcount to be taken”.
On Wednesday 29th November 2024 the House failed to approve the budget as the Majority Members of Parliament staged a walkout in Parliament during processes to approve the 2024 budget when the Minority challenged the voice votes and called for headcount to determine the actual number in the house for the approval.
The House ended its debate on the government’s 2024 Fiscal and Financial Policy Statement after both minority and minority leaders concluded their submissions.
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin, then put the question for the policy document to be approved or rejected through a voice vote.
The Minority MPs challenged the ruling by the Speaker that the 2024 budget had been approved by a majority voice vote and called for a head count.
This decision did not go down well with the Majority MPs and after lengthy arguments from both sides, the Speaker insisted the headcount should proceed, the majority side walked out of the house.
The Speaker, in the heat of things, suspended sitting for a while, the House resumed and the Speaker announced the adjournment of the House.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta at news conference said the budget has been passed. He told journalists in parliament without recourse to the facts as stated above.