Parliament on Tuesday failed to break for the Christmas and New Year holidays after a major rumpus in the House over a vote on the 2016 Eurobond.
Proceedings in the House were suspended for several hours on Tuesday after Minority MPs kicked a storm over a decision by the presiding Speaker, Barton Oduro, to nullify a crucial vote on the Eurobond.
A head count after an earlier voice vote showed 67 Minority MPs voted to reject the Eurobond whereas 66 Majority MPs voted in support of the motion. On the face of the vote, it meant the House had rejected the government’s request, a major blow to the administration’s financial plans for 2016.
But the first Deputy Speaker intervened and ruled the vote “an exercise in futility” after citing constitutional provisions to argue that the House did not have the required minimum number of MPs present in the chamber for a vote.
At least half of the lawmakers in the 275 member legislature needed to have been present in the House at the time of the vote for the decision to have been regarded as constitutional. His decision sparked Minority outrage and forced suspension of proceedings for several hours.
When proceedings resumed, the leaders of both side announced they had reached an agreement to defer further deliberations on the Eurobond until today [Wednesday].
Speaker Doe Adjaho backed the decision and further endorsed his Deputy’s earlier ruling which nullified the vote taken early on. He relied on both the 1992 constitution and the standing orders of Parliament to argue that as at the time of the vote, the House was not properly constituted to take the vote.
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