fbpx

Minority to challenge dismissal of budget motion

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
 Mr Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka — Minority Chief Whip
Mr Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka — Minority Chief Whip

The Minority in Parliament has stated that it will file another motion to challenge the decision by the First Deputy Speaker to dismiss the motion filed by the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, challenging his ruling on the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government.

It stated that the new application, which would also be signed and filed by Mr Iddrisu, would be filed when the Speaker, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, returned to the House on December 17, 2021.

In the view of the Minority, the move by First Deputy Speaker to decline the Minority Leader’s application came as a shock since they believed that the Speaker was going to “exercise his discretion rightly”.

“But unfortunately, the Order 13 (2) the First Deputy Speaker quoted, in our view, has no relation with the motion that we were demanding,” it stated.

Speaking to the media in Parliament last Monday, the Minority Chief Whip, Mr Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, said: “We are responding officially to Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu to remind him that his decision is very unfair.”

“We believe that he is abusing his office and is not mindful of Article 29 (6) which entreats all public officers who are to exercise discretion to be fair and candid and not be capricious.
In our view, he was more politically biased in his refusal to admit the motion,” he said.

Rejection

On Friday, November 10, 2021, the First Deputy Speaker rejected the motion filed by the Minority Leader.

Mr Iddrisu, who is the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Tamale South, had sought to overturn the approval of the budget by the House constituted by the Majority caucus alone, including the First Deputy Speaker, on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

The motion, which was accepted by the First Deputy Speaker, was, however, dismissed by Mr Osei-Owusu, a ruling the Minority Leader said was in contrast to the rules of the House.

In a substantive motion under Standing Order 93 (5) on December 7, the Minority Leader said the ruling “contravenes the Rules, Conventions and Practices of the House” and was “actuated by bias”.

Response

But in a response, Mr Osei-Owusu, in a letter signed by the Clerk-to-Parliament, Mr Cyril Nsiah, and addressed to the Minority Leader, said he could not admit the motion.

“Please refer to your communication dated December 7, 2021 on the motion in relation to a ruling by the Hon. First Deputy Speaker, on Wednesday, December,1 2021.”

“The Hon. First Deputy Speaker, pursuant to Order 13(2) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, has directed that I inform you that the motion is not admitted,” the letter read.

Very biased

But reacting to the dismissal of the Minority Leader’s application, Mr Muntaka said Order 81, which touched on steps to adopt in taking a motion, stipulated that once a motion had been moved by an MP and it had been seconded, “you could not withdraw it unless with the leave of the House.”

“So, how can the Speaker, after a motion had been moved and seconded as reported by the Vote and Proceedings, go ahead to make a directive?”

“In our view, he has given us the option to wait for Mr Speaker to return and we will exploit another avenue to possibly file another motion because we believe his refusal to admit our motion was very biased,” he stated.