Parliament on Thursday suspended sitting for 30 minutes after a disagreement between both sides of the House over the delivery of a statement relating to the state of Ghana’s economy by the Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper.
The House’s Order Paper for Wednesday, March 11, 2015, advertised that the Minister would present a revised 2015 budget through a motion.
But the Minority became apprehensive when the Majority Leader, Mr Alban Bagbin, before the commencement of the proceedings stated that Mr Terkper would rather present a statement, quoting Standing Order 70 (2) to move his point.
Standing Order 70 (2) states: “A minister of state may make an announcement or statement of government policy. Any such announcement or statement should be limited to facts, which it is deemed necessary to make known to the House and should not be designed to provoke debate at this stage. Any member may comment briefly, subject to the same limitation.”
The Minority’s consternation stemmed from the fact that the Minister was trying to avoid debate by coming to deliver a statement on the economy on Standing Order 70 (2) on the statement, and that Mr Terkper would have to present the statement on the budget through a motion because the issues anticipated to be raised in the statement should be debated.
The disagreement resulted in chaos, with Minority members heckling the Majority Leader, banging on their tables, and casting politically derogatory innuendoes, necessitating leaders on both sides asking the Speaker to suspend sitting for the leadership to carry out further consultations on the issue.
Thus, Speaker Adjaho, following the scenes being created and the interventions by both leaders, suspended sitting.