The Member of Parliament for Damongo, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has explained why the decision by the sit-in Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, to admit a quorum in parliament, paving the way for the approval of the 2022 budget was constitutional.
Speaking during the debate in the House a day after the all-Majority members of the House overturned the November 26, 2021, rejection of the budget, and then went on to approve it even under controversial circumstances, the MP said this is a matter that is supported by the constitution.
He however explained that with the attempts being made by the Minority MPs in the House, the constitution risks being defiled.
“Mr. Speaker, with the greatest of respect, it is obvious that our national constitution risks being defiled. The provisions of the constitution on this matter is clear. Mr. Speaker, Article 102 and Article 104 are clearly distinguishable. And for the avoidance of doubt, let me repeat Article 102 and Article 104…,” he said.
The MP, who is also the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, further defended the decision of the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, to admit himself as an MP, making it feasible for the House to form a quorum, before the budget was approved.
“A quorum of Parliament, apart from the person presiding. Mr. Speaker, the emphasis is on ‘the person presiding,’ shall be one-third of the entire Members of Parliament. Mr. Speaker, it is needless to point out that this quorum, pursuant to Article 102, is quorum for conducting business.
“Mr. Speaker, in that respect, may I respectfully refer the House to the book written by the respected jurist, K. B. Ayensu and S. N. Darko, on an Introduction to the Law Practice and Procedure of Parliament of Ghana…
“Mr. Speaker, this is the distinction; the distinction is that, whereas in Article 102, the framers of the constitution, deliberately mentioned the person presiding for purposes of quorum for conducting business, in Article 104, the framers of the constitution, deliberately omitted mentioning the person presiding, for purposes of quorum,” he stated.
Parliament was supposed to reconvene on Thursday, December 2, 2021, after the chaotic happenings of the previous day but moments, after the House convened, sitting, was postponed to Tuesday, December 7, 2021.