“I did nothing wrong” – Asiedu Nketia justifies his presence in Parliament
The Secretary General of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah justified his presence in Parliament on Friday as the 2022 budget debate was due to be finalized.
According to him, he did nothing wrong by sitting in the public gallery of the Parliamentary Chamber even after the Speaker ordered all ministers who are not Members to leave the Chamber since he was in the Chamber. to observe the debates of the day.
“I came to sit in the public gallery. I wasn’t talking to anyone. I was just sitting watching it. So how do you see me and just say “Asiedu Nketia is in the room so has to go” while other members of the public gallery were still in the gallery? ” he said JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson after leaving the House.
Asiedu Nketia’s presence in Parliament on Friday, November 27, 2021 caused a lot of drama.
The secretary general of the NDC, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Services Council, visited the House to observe the debates, but his presence was frowned upon by the majority caucus.
Before the vote to approve the 2022 budget, the Minister of Finance asked the President of the Assembly to allow him to further engage the leadership of Parliament on the budget. But the call was rejected by the deputies by a voice vote.
Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin then challenged the president’s decision and called for a division. A split is a form of MPs voting while ensuring that all non-MPs are kicked out of the lobby.
In view of this, the president has ordered that all non-MPs must leave Parliament for this form of voting to take place.
At that time, the Minister of Finance was in the chamber, but was not yet a Member of Parliament. His presence was contested by the deputies of the minority.
They argued that Ken Ofori-Atta was a minister, hence his ineligibility to be in the chamber.
After noticing that the secretary general of the National Democratic Congress was in the public gallery, the majority also called for the removal of Asiedu Nketia from parliament.
As NDC MPs remained calm, their colleagues across the way created a chaotic scene, slapping the table and accusing the president of bias.
A few minutes later, the majority leadership organized a walkout. The President then suspended the proceedings.
A few minutes later, the Speaker returned and asked if there was a quorum for business to continue. After establishing that the proceedings could continue, he again questioned whether the appeal of the Minister of Finance should be considered.
After the minority pushed its way through a voice vote, so it moved on to the main agenda of the day; approval of the budget.
Alban Bagbin put the approval of the budget to a voice vote and the minority has done what they want.
Speaking on whether the Speaker was right or wrong in ordering the Minister of Finance to leave the House, Asiedu Nketiah said that once the Majority specifically called for a division, it was normal that all members of the House who were not parliamentarians took orders from the Speaker.
“There is a division procedure in standing orders and this had to be followed. If the president has ordered that ministers who are not members of parliament must leave at the ringing of the bells for a division by the majority themselves, the orders must be obeyed.
“When there was a voice vote, did you see the president leave ministers? But if you are specifically requesting a division, then the division procedure in standing orders must be followed; this means that the lobbies must be emptied and that whoever does not have a vote must leave, ”he added.