Opposition shoots down Government’s 204 million dollar request in National Assembly – 20th Dec 2012
The Government came to the National Assembly this afternoon seeking 204 Million Dollars as part of the supplementary budget for the payment of contract workers. What the Government was in fact trying to do again, is to get approval for money it had already spent. The opposition shot down the request voting against it but in that process, a lively debate about the Chief Justice’s provisional ruling on that budget cut began. The Government sought to interpret that ruling to mean it could tap into the contingency fund then come back and seek approval. The opposition said, that was not the way it should have been done and the Government was misinterpreting the ruling and doing its own thing.
At one stage, the National Assembly was transformed into sort of a courtroom as the legal minds on both sides traded barbs.
Eventually the 204 Million dollars was put to a vote and the opposition used their majority and voted no, making it clear that the Chief Justice’s ruling could not give the green light for the Government to overstep the National Assembly and do as it pleases, in fact, the opposition pointed out that the Chief Justice in that ruling made it quite clear the separation of the judicial branch from the legislative branch.