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2020 budget debate: Furious Speaker suspends sitting after more than half of the MPs were late

By Mutala Yakubu
Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye
Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Ocquaye suspended sitting today November 19, 2019, after more than half of the members were late for proceedings to begin.

This is day two of the 2020 budget debate and as at 10: am when the proceedings were expected to begin, only a hand full of MPs were present.

The Speaker, therefore, suspended sitting for a while a met the leaders of both Majority and Minority to discuss the attitude of members towards business proceedings.

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"This is an important matter on the parliamentary calendar, the constitutional function of the House must be respected so I will suspend sitting and meet the leaders because this attitude is not good enough, we will have a little meeting and return in an hours time," the Speaker said.

Proceedings have however resumed and the debate on the 2020 budget has begun.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Parliament Joe Osei Owusu said the current system where MPs, are allowed to register their names and not show up in the Chamber is not the best.

He is proposing that counting must be done in the Chamber when proceedings are ongoing.

The Deputy Majority Whip Moses Anim argues that most of their members are in their offices and are monitoring proceedings.

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This Minority spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson disagrees as he says the Majority side do not believe in their own budget hence are scared to come and debate.