Mr Speaker, the chronology of events is as follows: We had a debate on the Eurobond; the debate had concluded and the Hon First Deputy Speaker, in conformity with Standing Order 109, proposed a Question for a decision to be made.
Subsequent to that, a voice vote was called for by the Hon First Deputy Speaker and in the mind of the Hon First Deputy Speaker, apparently, it was not too clear the direction of the voice votes.So, he himself arrested the declaration and called for a headcount.
When the headcount was taken, the tellers, who, as usual, are the Clerks-at- the-Tabl,e supported by some other officers of Parliament, submitted the declaration to the Hon First Deputy Speaker. For a while of about 10 minutes, there was an intense consultation between the tellers and the Hon First Deputy Speaker.
Eventually, the declaration came out that, the Ayes votes were 66 and the “Noes” votes were 67. Upon that, he declared that, we did not have the quorum to have undertaken that exercise - the proposal that he submitted to the House.
Mr Speaker, the argument from some of us was that, the Hon First Deputy Speaker ought to have himself premised on Standing Order 109 before putting the Question to the plenary for determination.
Mr Speaker, be that as it may, he had made the declaration that, according to the tellers and what they had submitted to him, we did not have the correct number. The Hon First Deputy Speaker then went further to declare that the exercise that we had indulged in was an exercise in futility, which meant that we were back to square one.
Mr Speaker, that was the interpretation the Hon First Deputy Speaker gave and that became contentious. Ultimately, because the Hon First Deputy Speaker is responsible for order in the House, he then pulled out that authority and declared that we needed to have some consultations.
Mr Speaker, we have been in consultations for a while now and we have come to some general agreements.The Hon Majority Leader has made the pronouncement that we have agreed that we take the Appropriation Bill.
Mr Speaker, this is because after all, the language of the Bill is that the authorities may be allowed to spend allocations up to a certain amount and so, if we cannot deal with the Eurobond, we can isolate it and deal with it subsequently. I would not breach any law. So, it is a proposal that is coming from the consultations that we have had.
Mr Speaker, on that basis, we could deal with the Appropriation Bill for the time being.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.