Home » Strategic Retreat: Majority’s Walkout in 2024 Budget Debate

Strategic Retreat: Majority’s Walkout in 2024 Budget Debate

Analyzing the Political Strategy Behind Majority's Parliamentary Walkout

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

In a significant turn of events, the Majority in Parliament executed a walkout during the debate on the 2024 budget on Wednesday, November 29. This dramatic move disrupted the approval process for the Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the year ending December 31, 2024.

The walkout followed Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin’s voice vote ruling in favor of the “Ayes” by the Majority, a decision contested by the Minority Caucus. They argued the vote lacked clear distinction between the “Ayes” and the “Nays”.

Deputy Minority Leader Emmanuel Kofi Armah-Buah, invoking Order 113(2), called for a headcount to accurately determine the vote’s outcome. The Speaker agreed to the Minority’s request for a headcount, but this decision faced resistance from the Majority Caucus.

With the absence of three key Majority members, the Majority Caucus, fearing a possible loss on the motion, chose not to participate in the voting process and instead walked out of the chamber.

Political analyst Atik Mohammed, speaking on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” morning show, labeled the walkout a smart and necessary move. He argued that this strategic retreat was crucial to avoid the “tragedy” of failing to secure approval for their budget.

Mohammed pointed out the Majority’s lack of preparedness, suggesting this was the driving factor behind their decision to disrupt the proceedings. He stated, “This was a smart move to avoid any tragedy…otherwise…this is unheard-of. That I have presented my budget but before I bring it to the House, I should have prepared myself adequately because I know what the Minority can do, so your house should be in order.”

He also mentioned that the Speaker’s initial ruling inadvertently bolstered the Majority’s strategy to avert a potential catastrophe. However, Mohammed advised the Majority to ensure full preparedness before presenting in Parliament.

This incident highlights the intricacies of legislative strategy and the impact of parliamentary procedures on crucial government decisions, particularly in budget approval processes.

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