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Can the Majority Actually Overturn the Rejection of the 2022 Budget?-Mensah Thompson Writes



Folks the majority in Parliament says Parliament has NOT rejected their 2022 budget and that the processes in the house yesterday was unconstitutional.
They further asserts that they will return to the house on Tuesday to challenge yesterday’s rejection.

So we decided to put their claim to a Procedural, Precedence, Common Sense and Mischief test.

First of all, is it the first time one side of the house have walked out of the chamber and Parliamentary business including motions and approval of contracts or agreements had still been concluded without the other side??
Hell No!!!
And I can give you several examples from State of the Nations Addresses to budgets approvals and even approval of Multi-National contracts.
The standing orders are very clear on the quorum for Parliamentary business and it is One-third of all Members of Parliament.
So 275 divided by 3 and that gives us 91
The number of the Minority is 137.
Clearly Parliament formed a quorum in excess of 46 more members yesterday and was properly constituted to proceed on the business of the day.

Now let’s go to voting, the standing orders are very clear on the number needed for approvals and that is at least *two-thirds* of the members present and voting.
So once Parliament forms a quorum, you only need two-thirds of the members in the chamber and voting.
Two thirds of the 137 is 91.
The headcount for the rejection of the budget was 137 clearly above the 2/3rds threshold.

And to the common sense test.
How does the Majority intends to overturn this Rejection??
Honestly my little knowledge of Parliamentary procedure do not see any way out, albeit there is no ballot to chew this time round.

Who is going to preside over that proceeding that would overturn the rejection?
Is it Speaker Bagbin??
The one they have insulted and disrespected after he gave them so much room to put themselves together to the disapproval of on-looking Ghanaians?
Is it the same Speaker they walked out on in the chamber yesterday?
I guess not!!

Or they are going to Court to challenge the decision and procedure of Parliament?
Maybe the Majority MPs themselves need more schooling on Parliamentary procedure.
No person, agency or arm of Government can direct or order Parliament in the discharge of it’s functions, the law is clear.
So the only medium they have is Parliament and their only hope if any to overturn this rejection is the Speaker they don’t respect.

Now to the Mischief test.
Assuming for any reason, the Speaker they don’t respect cannot preside or is out of the Country or is engaged in official business and they get their favorite First Deputy Speaker to sit in the Chair to preside, they still cannot turn the tables.
The first Deputy Speaker is a part of their 137.
He taking the chair reduces their number to 136, because the Speaker cannot participate in a voting he is presiding over.
That gives us 136 Majority and 137 Minority.
Even of the independent candidate decides to join them for the vote, they still cannot overturn the decision of Parliament.

So when you hear the noise from K.T Hammond and Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Please laugh some because sometimes having new comedians in town is somewhat refreshing…especially when they come in with fresh jokes!!!

Mensah Thompson
Executive Director,ASEPA

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