Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has defended the 1st Deputy Speaker’s decision to include himself as part of the quorum required to approve the 2022 budget.
The Majority in Parliament, on Tuesday, approved the 2022 Budget with Joseph Osei-Owusu as the sit-in Speaker in the absence of Speaker Alban Bagbin.
The budget was approved in the absence of MPs from the Minority, who declined to participate in the business of the day.
However, the Minority in a press conference shortly after the approval of the budget described the action as unconstitutional.
According to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddirisu the approval of the 2022 Budget by the Majority is a slap in the face of the law; basing his assertions on Article 104 (3) of the Constitution, and standing order 109 of Parliament.
But Deputy Majority leader and Effutu MP, Alexander Afenyo-Markin in an interview on NewsNight, on Tuesday explained that the Constitution requires members present to vote, hence the 1st Deputy Speaker, who is a member of the House, was right in voting.
“That is what the law says. It says that members present.”
“Even so, whereas when it comes to the substantive speaker, Mr. Speaker himself, the Constitution is clear that he has neither an original vote nor a casting vote, if you come to our standing orders, Order 109, the presiding member or a Deputy Speaker presided would not have an original vote, it was specific. It excluded the casting vote so that in itself means that, were there to be a tie of the 138 members present and voting coming out with a tie, the one presiding, in this case, Mr. Speaker would have exercised that right to cast his vote,” he said.
Reacting to the approval of the budget by the Majority, Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak described the majority members as being egoistic in approving the budget.
He disagreed with the 1st Deputy Speaker’s decision to vote for the approval of the budget.
According to the Minority Chief Whip, his side of the House will insist on a vote for every estimate of the 2022 Budget until appropriation.