When the minority in Parliament broached the subject of quorum during a vital decision-making session, the majority chief whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, seemed to have walked right into a trap.
During the discussion of various provisions in the Ghana Commission for UNESCO bill, Alhassan Suhuyini, a member of the minority, voiced worry over the quorum, which led to the incident.
Suhuyini objected to the Speaker’s ruling on the proposed question addressing the clause under Order 113.
He contended that a headcount was required since there weren’t enough members of parliament present to vote on the bill.
Annoh-Dompreh responded by voicing his displeasure at the minority’s demand for a headcount on a bill that the leadership had already agreed to include in the day’s business. He even went so far as to insinuate that the minority’s activities were motivated by ulterior objectives and that they were acting dishonestly.
Inadvertently challenging them to continue with the headcount, Annoh-Dompreh.
He had no idea that this action might force the House to adjourn because it quickly became clear that there were insufficient participants to constitute a quorum.
He proudly declared, “We accept the challenge, that we should do a headcount, on the floor. If we defeat you, Mr. Speaker, let’s move on to the motion and take a head count; I’m confident you’ll give up on all applications. Why? Additionally, you want to boost these bills, which really surprises me. Mr. Speaker, I would like to kindly ask your colleagues: Why are you coming up with this surprise when we actually reached a meaningful deal and approved the Wildlife law, and later on, we will have to do the UNESCO bills? Ghanaians are keeping an eye on things.
After the headcount, however, the former minority chief whip Muntaka recommended Annoh-Dompreh to reach out to the minority rather than daring them because his remarks were unhelpful.
The Speaker declared that there were 73 total members present—46 from the majority and 27 from the minority—which was less than the necessary number for the chamber to make decisions.
The House was compelled to adjourn as a result of this event.