Former President John Dramani Mahama has justified the fight in Parliament over the E-levy, claiming that the Minority legislators were not expected to sit quietly and allow unconstitutionality to pass.
He told the clerics who came to see him that the constitution specifies how Parliamentary sessions should be conducted. As a result, putting aside the proper procedure was bound to raise some eyebrows.
“If you get the details of our concerns you will understand the view from where we are coming from. I do think this meeting is timely, it is good to hear from all sides.
“By the time you have hear what we have to say you will realize that the problem is much deeper than what you think. That is why I have brought some of the MPs . That fight was a fight for democracy, there is no way a speaker can sit in the chair, relinquish the chair, let somebody else come and sit and take a vote in something that he has presided over.
“The constitution is clear, you take a voice vote, Is have it, somebody challenges it, it means we don’t agree with your choice so you must sit in the chair and do a division.”
“It was felt that our MPs should sit timidly and let them pass this unconstitutionality, it won’t happen. I am happy that that rowdy scene has woken your consciences that you must intervene because there is a lot that is happening in this country that if we don’t intervene it will affect our democracy,” The former President of Ghana added.
Members of Ghana’s Parliament couldn’t hold their emotions in check on Monday, December 20, as several brawled in the House shortly before the final vote on the contentious Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, often known as e-levy.
The sit-in Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, had stated that the Bill, which had been tabled under a certificate of urgency, would be approved by a division, and that he would vote in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.
Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) appeared to be enraged by this, questioning his decision to vote after presiding over the night’s proceedings.
They made their way to the front of the dais, threatening the Bekwai MP.
This sparked unrest among the Majority MPs, and when Mr Osei-Owusu gave the presiding function to the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, a fight ensued.