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Monday, January 24, 2022

Dialogue to resolve impasse – Peace Council to Majority, Minority

Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (left) with Minority leader Haruna Idrissu

The National Peace Council has urged both the Majority and Minority Members in Parliament to dialogue in order to resolve the issues surrounding the 2022 budget statement.

“Both the Majority and the Minority Leaders, Honorable Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and Honorable Haruna Iddrisu in their responses, informed the Council, that both sides have made concessions and a committee of 20 members drawn from both sides have been set up to dialogue and possibly find a solution to the impasse as soon as practicable.

“The Council in pursuit of the above appeals to both sides of the House, to continue the path of dialogue in resolving the current impasse and those that may recur in the future,” a statement signed by the Chairman of the NPC, Rev Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi said.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan parliamentary committee made up of ten lawmakers from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been formed to handle the issues surrounding the 2022 budget statement for the next fiscal year.

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Below is the list of the 20-member bipartisan committee:

Majority Caucus

Dan Botwe( Okere)

KT Hammond (Adansi Asokwa)

Patrick Boamah( Okaikwei Central)

Patricia Appiagyei( Asokwa)

Lydia Alhassan( MP, Ayawaso West Wuogon)

Alexander Afenyo Markin( MP, Effutu)

Habid Iddrisu( Tolon)

Frank Annor Dompreh ( Nsawam Addoagyir)

Joe Ghartey (Essikado/ Ketan)

Minority Caucus

Muntaka Mubarak ( Asawase )

Rockson Nelson Dafiamekpor (South Dayi)

Sam George( Ningo Prampram)

James Agalga( Builsa North)

Kwabena Mintah Akando( Juaboso)

Enerst Norgbey(Ashaiman)

Richard Acheampong( Bia East)

Ahmed Ibrahim

Comfort Doyoe-Ghansah

This follows the sharp division that has characterized the approval of the budget.

During deliberations on the floor of the House on Wednesday December 1, a Former Deputy Attorney General Dr Dominic Ayine asked persons quoting the constitution to support the approval of the 2022 budget to read the constitution as a whole to be able to arrive at a meaningful conclusion.

He said those arguing for the approval of the budget cannot pick and choose aspects of the constitution to support their points.

Otherwise, he said, they will be wrong.

Contributing to a discussion on the budget the Bolgatanga East MP said “We think the decision that was taken yesterday gross undermining of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

The Minority in Parliament were seeking to overturn the approval of the budget by the House on Tuesday November 30, without them.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in moving a motion to overturn the approval said 137 lawmakers of the Majority could not have taken a decision.

He said they don’t consider Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Wusu (Joewise) who deliberated over proceedings yesterday, as Member of Parliament at the time he was sitting in as speaker hence, that leaves the number present at 137.

It is recalled that immediately after the approval of the budget on Tuesday, Haruna Iddrisu said that the Majority did not have the numbers to enable them approve the 2022 budget statement.

He said at a press conference in Parliament that as of the time the Majority were taking the decision to approve the budget, they were 137 and not 138.

“The precedent they are setting will haunt them in the future. At the time that they were taking the decision the house was not 137.”

They further rejected the assurance by the Finance Ken Ofori-Atta that their concerns in the 2022 budget would be addressed at the committee level.

Haruna Iddrisu said that they wanted their concerns captured in the original budget statement, not to be discussed at the committees’ sittings.

“If you are acknowledging and admitting that there were concessions, let it reflect in the statement” and not a meeting at the committee level.

He further stated that the Minority will oppose to the E-levy proposal in its current any day and anytime.

“We don’t support the E-levy in its current. Our point is to revise it to take care of the ordinary people.”

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had assured them that all the issues they raised against the 2022 Budget, would be addressed at the committee level.

The Minority had raised issues including the request that the budget for Parliament should be raised from GHS510m to GHs1.7bn, issues about the e-levy and others.

Mr Ofori Atta said in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that their concerns would be considered.

His comments came just before Parliament approved the 2022budget statement on Tuesday November 30.

The First Deputy Speaker who sat in for the Speaker said on Tuesday, Joseph Osei Owusu said that “The House has adopted the Financial statement and approved the budget statement for the ensuing year ending 31st December 2021.”

“This house has approved the budget and economic statement,” he stressed.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had asked him to set aside the purported rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor of the House on Tuesday November 30 that the rejection of the budget “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.

The minority boycotted the sitting.

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