Parliament today had to suspend the 2016 budget debate due issues raised by the over the validity of the quorum.


The issue of quorum came up again in the House on Wednesday as the Minority side of the House continued their protest against a pronouncement by President Mahama about NPP members sleeping in Parliament.

Parliament was supposed to start the debate on the Financial Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December 2016 today but it appears the minority has been scheming to delay the process from going on as part of their protest.

The Minority succeeded in bringing the work of Parliament to a halt last Friday and Tuesday due to the fact that the House was deserted because the Members of the Majority side of the House were out campaigning for the just gone-by Presidential and Parliamentary primaries of the ruling NDC.

It is required that one-third of all MPs be present in order to form a quorum to allow for the conduct of Parliamentary business, a situation that minority have used to protest against President Mahama for who was heard calling the minority “sleeping MPs” who allowed for the approval of loans contracted by his government.

The Minority called for a head count to ascertain the number of MPs in the House to enable business take place. But before the results of the head count would be made known to them, almost all the Minority MPs had left the chamber.

When the 1st Deputy Speaker, Ebo Barton Oduro, who was sitting in plenary on Wednesday announced that the results was 93, the Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitihul stood up to challenge the results and called for a recount.

Some of the MPs on the Majority side reported to the Speaker that the Minority MPs were iddling at the MPs Coffee Shop in the Lobby of the newly built Parliament House.

A controversy then ensued between the two sides as the Minority denied that they were deliberately avoiding the chamber for business to go on. In order to calm the House down and to build consensus, the Speaker had to suspend sitting for a while.

When sitting resumed after about 45 minutes, it was announced that after consultations with each other, the debate on the budget had been postponed to Thursday.

The Deputy Minority Leader, gave a caviate that the Minority would only take part in the Debate when all the issues they have complained about has been delt with. ” when you were having your primaries, we were working. That is how Parliament should work. We have been working and working all along and we hear the President saying that we have been sleeping. Our people are very hurt. Our constituents are very hurt. Mr. Speaker, this issues must be addressed tomorrow .” He said.

The Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, delivered a stament on Government’s Fiscal Policy for 2016 to Parliament on the 3rd of November this year. As the Constitution demands, Parliament must debate the content of the policy and approve it before any withdrawal could be made from the consolidated fund in 2016.



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