2022 Budget Vote: NPP MPs missing in Parliament

Public hearing on anti-LGBTQ+ bill resumes today

Several hours after parliament was scheduled to convene for final debate and approval of the 2022 budget, the majority side of the house is yet to report into the chamber.

While all 137 MPs from the minority side had taken their seats by midmorning, none of the 138 members from the majority side have entered the chamber as at midday. Following this development, the minority has held a press conference to call out the majority for holding the house hostage.

“Government is the responsibility of serious minds and responsible people. If they are not in the position to run this country, they should state so and let serious minds take over the running of the state. But parliament cannot be held hostage by the majority. Our leadership in the minority is ready, the members are ready,” Ningo Prampram MP, Samuel Nartey told the media.

Ahead of the budget approval, the members of the minority had served notice of their resolve to vote against the budget saying it is insensitive to the economic conditions of Ghanaians.

The member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, and the Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adjoa Safo, are reported to be out of the country.

Sam Nartey George, a member of the minority caucus appears to have suggested the government is chattering a flight to bring the MPs back into the country for the session.

The make-up of the 8th parliament has made policies requiring voting to be contentious, especially when there is a disagreement between the two sides of the house.

The majority with 138 MPs has only one seat more than the minority side which has 137 members in the house.

Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh Dompreh has however, refuted the claim that their side is deliberately stalling the process.

Addressing the media in parliament following the development, the MP for Nsawam Adoagyiri rubbished the allegations of government using a chartered flight to bring the MPs back into the country while maintaining that his side is poised to win a vote on the budget.

He insisted that their delay in coming into the chamber of parliament is only as a result of a caucus meeting his side has been engaged in.

“Caucus meeting is something normal that we do in this house. So for anybody to have the temerity to come and address you and to say that we are engaging in ferrying our members with chartered flight and I am told all manner of stories. I mean treat it with the greatest level of disrespect and disdain,” the Majority Chief Whip said.