Gov’t faces shutdown as Minority boycotts budget debate

minority-in-parliament-3_600x400-600x330The Mahama administration faces a possible government shut down as opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs are determined to derail parliamentary approval of his 2016 budget – a development that could further cripple the already struggling economy.A government shutdown occurs when Parliament cannot resolve budget disputes for the upcoming fiscal year and stops all but important national services.

Provoked by a recent Presidential comment that accused Minority MPs of sleeping on the job, opposition NPP MPs today [Wednesday] forced Parliament to adjourn prematurely without fully accomplishing businesses planned for the day.

In what critics have called brute display of Minority power, many opposition NPP MPs were seen leaving the Parliamentary chamber one after the other shortly before and after an opposition MP was on his feet, drawing the presiding Speaker’s attention to the apparent lack of quorum in the House.

The adjournment of the House meant a scheduled debate on the 2016 budget set for Wednesday could not happen.

Speaking to Citi News Richard Dela Sky, a former Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Sampson Ahi, accused the Minority side of scheming to sabotage the work of both Parliament and the Mahama administration.

“I saw that this quorum issue is a planned thing and it is a calculated attempt to thwart government business. When we came in the morning Titus Glover raised this quorum issue and the speaker called for head count and we had 94 and we needed 91 so we had quorum.”

He said after 20 minutes, when the issue was raised again, Titus Glover himself who raised the first quorum was not in the House.

“I saw more than 20 minority MPs sitting at the coffee shop drinking tea. Some of them sitting down, doing nothing and you will realize that they are sneaking out of the chamber one after the other. The minority chief whip, one of the MPs from Sunyani, he did it. I saw him asking them to leave the chamber. You can’t do this deliberate thing and tend to raise quorum issue. Is it fair. I raised it on the floor and nobody was able to stand up and disagree with me,” he argued.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul speaking to Citi News denied attempts to sabotage government but said minority MPs are not happy with government.

“It’s clear that the minority are not happy with the president’s comments. They feel hurt. They feel betrayed. Betrayed because for the past one month that the majority MPs were working in their constituencies and were not in parliament, it was the minority who were passing bills, passing loans, working in government, correcting things the they bring…and for anybody to insinuate, to even say, that the minority are not working, they are sleeping in parliament is very unfortunate.”

“It’s not paying back. MPs are not kids. Nobody can force an MP to do what he doesn’t want to do. I’m saying that minority MPs are very hurt and it tells. It’s telling, very telling. And I have always said that if something is not done the majority may have to look for 140 MPs to be present every day and you know that’s not possible,” Dominic Nitiwul added.

source: citifmonline.com

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