The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has blamed the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin for all the commotion that characterised the debate on the 2022 Budget.
According to him, the chaos began on November 17 when the Budget statement and Economic policy was presented.
The Suame MP said prior to the Finance Minister’s presentation; the Speaker threatened Ken Ofori-Atta that he should either allocate ¢1.72 billion of the projected revenue to Parliament or have the Budget thrown out.
This, he said, resulted in the delay in the Budget presentation.
Speaking to the press on Thursday, the Suame MP stated, “we are where we are because in my view of the genesis of the presentation of this Budget, the day when this Budget came to be presented, we were in the chamber, and we all saw that after the Finance Minister had walked in, we had to be at the Speaker’s office for close to 1 hour. We were not coming out.
“Why weren’t we coming out? We were not coming out because we had a Speaker who told the Finance Minister that because he had not given Parliament an amount of ¢1.72 billion, that he the Speaker has requested the Finance Minister to give to Parliament, he the Speaker was going to ensure that the Budget was rejected. That is what happened that day.”d
He added that “He [the Speaker] threatened him [Finance Minister] that his Budget was going to be rejected by Parliament and even said to him that he doesn’t want to remind him of what his father did to President Hilla Limann. That was the Speaker.
“So all that is playing out it goes to satisfy what the Speaker indicated at the very beginning of the presentation of the Budget that he’d make sure this Budget was rejected. Is that the case? The people of this country ought to know the mindset of this Speaker with respect to this Budget.”
Subsequently, the 2022 Budget was rejected by a Minority-only House after the Majority Group walked out.l
The Majority explained that they decided to protest the presence of the NDC Secretary General, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, in Parliament’s gallery.
The Minority Group in Parliament contended that they rejected the Budget because if it is approved, it will deepen the hardship of Ghanaians.
After a head-count which saw all Minority MPs on their feet in opposition to a motion for the Finance Minister to have a further engagement with the leadership of Parliament, the Speaker ruled that the Budget had been rejected.