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2024 Budget passed by Parliament says Ofori-Atta; But Minority contests Speaker’s ruling

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin ruled after a voice vote at the conclusion of the debate that the budget has been passed

The Minister for Finance Ken Ofori Atta has allayed fears arising from speculations that the 2024 budget has been rejected by Parliament. On the contrary, Mr Ofori-Atta says the 2024 budget has been passed.

This follows controversies that surrounded the approval of the motion to adopt the 2024 budget statement and economic policy. The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, ruled after a voice vote at the conclusion of the debate that the “Yes” had it which indicated that the budget had been passed.

The Deputy Minority Leader Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah however objected to the Speaker’s ruling and asked for a headcount to challenge the Speaker’s decision.

However, the majority raised concerns about how the Speaker conducted the headcount, which they say was biased towards the minority and inconsistent with the standing orders.

The majority caucus proceeded to stage a walk out and boycott the headcount process which resulted in the initial suspension and subsequent adjournment of the house.

Speaking to the media after the suspension, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta said as far as he is concerned the 2024 budget has been passed because the Speaker’s ruling after the voice vote was in affirmation that the “Yes” have it in approving the budget. He said the current stand off was an issue arising out of the approval of the budget and will be dealt with eventually by the house when it reconvenes.

Click play to listen to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Meanwhile the majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu says his side boycotted the headcount to determine the approval of the 2024 budget because the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin was skewing the process to allow minority members who were not present to make their way into the chamber to be counted.

This he says was “unparliamentary” and “a biased gesture”. The Majority Leader says their checks indicated that five minority members including Dr Zanetor Agyemang Rawlings, Mahama Ayariga and James Gyakye Quayson were not present as at the time of the headcount hence the attitude of the speaker. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu made this known to the press after the walkout.

Click play to listen to the Majority Leader in Parliament

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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