Member of Parliament for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim, has said the majority are to blame for the back for forth that occurred in parliament on Monday, December 20 regarding the E-levy proposal.
He revealed that when the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, was ready to get proceedings commenced on Monday, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, and his colleague majority members were not prepared.
Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Komla Klutse in Parliament on Tuesday, December 21, he said “There is a leadership failure on the part of the Majority Leader. As a Majority Leader, you need to be in constant touch with Parliament, then the deputy speakers of Parliament need to be in constant touch with Parliament. Don’t forget the Speaker himself has just returned from sick leave. As a result of that when he sits he sometimes hands over to the deputy speakers which he did yesterday.
“Yesterday, we were at the conclave and where was the Majority Leader? We in the Minority were here at 9 AM and where was the Majority Leader? You have brought your budget to parliament, you have brought your financial document to Parliament but you left all these and went to Kumasi that you were going to do political party meeting, and as a result of that, you were unable to return on time for business to proceed. The speaker you are complaining against was waiting for you.”
His comments come after the Majority Leader had expressed disappointment in the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin over the way and manner he conducted himself in Parliament on Monday, December 20.
According to him, the Speaker left Parliament to his home without communicating to the Second Deputy Speaker whom he handed over to.
He described this as unfortunate.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, December 21, the Suame lawmaker said “He said he will come here at 11: 30, subsequently another message came to say that he can only be here at 12. I mean, the house cannot be held to ransom by one person. It is most unfortunate.
“Yesterday leaving the seat he told the First Deputy that he was handing over to, that he will come back pretty soon and all that we heard was that he had left to his house, that is mots unfortunate without any further communication to the Second Deputy Speaker or me because I have been having some discussions with him and I am told today, that he didn’t even have any discussion with the Minority as well so where are we going from where. It is a most unfortunate development.”
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu announced on Tuesday, December 21 that Parliament has adjourned sitting sine die.
The Majority Leader said the adjournment of the sitting on the e-levy would afford the Majority and government more time to do further consultations on the proposal.
“I think that this will also allow us some time to have further consultations among ourselves, it is the reason why the First Deputy Speaker had to adjourn the House sine die. As you know, the budget has been passed, there was an attempt to portray that that there is no budget, there is a budget, the appropriations bill passed.”
He added “I think that this will also allow us some time to have further consultations among ourselves, it is the reason why the First Deputy Speaker had to adjourn the House sine die. As you know, the budget has been passed, there was an attempt to portray that that there is no budget, there is a budget, the appropriations bill passed.”
On Monday, December 20 Members of Ghana’s Parliament could not hold their emotions as some exchanged brawls in the House just before the final vote on the controversial Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, also known as e-levy.
The sit-in Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, had announced that a division would be followed to approve the Bill, presented under a certificate of urgency, and he was going to vote as well in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.
That appeared to have provoked the National Democratic Congress (NDC) members, who questioned his decision to vote after presiding over the night’s proceedings.
They moved to the front of the dais, issuing threats at the Bekwai MP.
This got the Majority MPs to also start agitations and immediately Mr. Osei-Owusu handed the presiding role to the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the fight broke out.