The controversies triggered by Parliament’s deliberations on the government’s 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy appear not to end anytime soon following events of yesterday on the floor of the House.
As was expected, the Minority Caucus of the House, led by their leader, Haruna Iddrissu, yesterday sought unsuccessfully to overturn the previous day’s decision by the Majority Caucus to approve the Budget Statement and Economic Policy.
Before the approval of the document on Tuesday, the Majority Caucus had also overturned a previous decision by their counterparts to reject the budget. Yesterday, therefore, was apparently the turn of Minority Caucus to also seek to ‘undo’ their counterparts.
Yesterday’s sitting was largely characterised by chaos, which many think was ‘shameful’, even though there were no physical confrontations as witnessed once a while in some Parliaments elsewhere. What this means is that Ghanaians expect the best from the people they have elected to represent them in Parliament to take decisions on their behalf.
Interest of people
As the people’s representatives, who are taken care of through the sweat of those who elected them into Parliament, it is expected that our Members of Parliament will always put the interest of the people ahead of any consideration in all their deliberations.
Gradually, and over the years, the people keep losing confidence in the ability or readiness of their MPs to take decisions that promote the collective interest of the electorate.
That is certainly not good for the growth of our nascent democracy, which is seen as model on the African continent.
What is at stake in the ongoing ‘war’ over the 2022 Budget and Economic Policy is the effect on the running of the business of government.
But for the ongoing controversies, the various committees of Parliament would have started working on the estimates relating to their respective sectors. But here we are with our MPs engage in ‘war’ as to which group was right or wrong with their decision on the budget.
Clearly the processes have thrown out controversies that justify the calls for a review of the Constitution to put the grey areas that affect the workings of Parliament to rest. That is certainly a long-term project worth pursuing.
Mutual respect and cooperation
But, in the meantime, because the business of government cannot be allowed to ground to a halt, the only option available is for both sides of Parliament is to show mutual respect to each other and show readiness to cooperate. That has become very important in view of the peculiar nature of the current composition of Parliament.
In this regard, we expect the leadership of the Majority Caucus to remain sober and measured in their utterances in order to engender the atmosphere required to elicit the cooperation of their opposition counterparts.
Finally, while we cannot prevent the opposition politicians from making political capital out of situations, we would like to remind them that they are elected into office to serve the best interest of the people and the country. And in this regard, everything they do should be done with the interest of the people and the country in mind.