Parliament has approved the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the fiscal year ending 31st December 2024 after a head count of members.
The Majority had 138 votes as against 136 for the Minority.
Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, in declaring the results, said: “At the end of the headcount, the ‘ayes’ had 138, nos were 136, one absent. The ayes have it. The 2024 budget has been approved.”
On Wednesday, November 29, during voting to approve the Budget, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Deputy Minority Leader challenged the opinion of the Speaker that “I think that the ayes have it”, he therefore requested for a headcount.
The Deputy Minority Leader’s request was vehemently opposed by Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament and his Deputy, Mr Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin.
The Speaker’s decision to conduct a headcount with each MP standing up at his seat to be named and counted, did not go down well with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Majority, which led to a walkout.
During the House’s sitting on Thursday, November 30, the Speaker directed that the Business Committee retable the Motion for the approval of the Budget to Thursday, December 7.
However, during Thursday, December 7, sitting, when the Speaker put the Budget approval to a headcount, the 137 NPP MPs and one independent, Mr Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the independent Member of Parliament for Fomena voted enbloc to approve the Budget by 138 votes.
The opposition NDC Minority voted 136 against the budget, with one of them being absent from the Chamber.
Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the budget to Parlaiment on November 15, this year.