Members of the Majority Caucus in Parliament have staged a walkout of the Chamber, disrupting the approval process for the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government for the year ending December 31, 2024.
The walkout occurred after the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, put the motion on a voice vote and declared the “Ayes” by the Majority as having carried the motion.
However, the Speaker’s ruling was challenged by the Minority Caucus, who argued that there was no clear distinction between the “Ayes” and the “Nays” during the voice vote.
Invoking Order 113(2), the Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Kofi Armah-Buah, called for a headcount or division to determine the outcome of the vote. The Speaker, adhering to the Minority’s request, instructed the Clerks at the Table to conduct the headcount.
Speaker Bagbin informed the House that each MP’s name would be called out for them to stand up and be counted. However, the Majority Caucus strongly objected to the Speaker’s decision, maintaining that he had already declared the “Ayes” in favour of the motion and should stand by his ruling.
Fearing a potential defeat or the loss of the motion, given the absence of three Majority MPs, the Majority Caucus informed the Speaker that they would not participate in the voting process and consequently walked out of the Chamber amidst booing from Minority MPs.
The walkout followed the conclusion of the one-week debate, with the Majority and Minority Leaders wrapping up their respective positions, and a presentation by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, who urged the House to approve the motion.
The outcome of the budget approval process remains uncertain as the Majority Caucus’s walkout has disrupted the proceedings.