Budget drama: Gyampo calls for more dialogue not showdowns

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Prof Ransford Gyampo

A Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Prof Ransford Gyampo, has urged Members of Parliament (MPs) to be tactful when discussing matters of national interest.

Commenting on events of Friday, November 26 which led to the rejection of the 2022 budget, Prof Gyampo asked both sides of the House to strive to engage in effective dialogue and consultation to reach consensus on any subject.

He said in a Facebook post on Monday that “anyone leading a group to deal with this kind of Parliament of equal strength must be tactful, sober and humble.”

“The use of force and money can play a role only to a limited extent. Respect and dialogue are crucial in handling matters in such a House. The next sitting of Parliament must not be another showdown.

“What happened last Friday should point any right thinking leader of Parliament to the dogmas of competent dialogue and respect for the Minority group. Let there be serious ‘behind the scenes’ dialogue and consultations led not necessarily by those who have been in Parliament for long, but those who know how to dialogue,” he suggested.

He noted that leaders in a hung Parliament can fail their constituents “if they assume a ‘combative sense of power’ posturing in parliamentary deliberations,” a phenomenon he reckons “would result in needless stalemates and baseless accusations of bias on the part of a Speaker who only typifies how all Speakers have behaved since 1993.”

Prof Gyampo further asked the leadership of the Majority in Parliament to “quickly adjust to the realities of this hung Parliament or be prepared to be replaced by those who can tactfully navigate government policies through a certain dialogue posturing that is not repulsive to the other side.”

“The Minority group too must not add too much salt to the soup by being overly intransigent. They must however be careful not to over-do things in a manner that would quickly remind all of us that they would have done same or even worse if they were in government,” he noted.

On Friday, November 26, Parliament rejected the 2022 Budget following series of heated exchanges between members of the two Caucuses.

Infuriated by the turn of events, the Majority, led by Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu staged a walkout after alleging ‘bias’ and ‘disrespect’ on the part of the Speaker, Alban Bagbin.

Proceedings, however, continued unabated, following which the Minority threw out the Budget, with 137 of its members, present, and voting.

The Majority subsequently reacted, describing the Minority’s decision as ‘unconstitutional’.

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