Parliament postpones passage of E-levy till 2022
Parliament has adjourned sitting till January 18, 2022, without passing the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy of 1.75%.
This comes after the House reconvened today, Tuesday, December 21, 2021, following the abrupt suspension of sittings by the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrews Asiamah, after a fight broke out during the voting on the e-levy.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, prayed the sit-in Speaker, First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Owusu, to adjourn the house until January 18, 2022, for cooler heads to prevail.
According to him, the house wasn’t in a serene environment to conduct business, considering the events of the previous night.
“We adjourned sitting yesterday [Monday] and indicated to ourselves that the house will be reconvening at 9:00 am today, (Tuesday, December 21, 2021, but we have been waiting for all this while making the necessary calls but thus far, nothing responsive, and I think where we are if we take an adjournment it will allow coolers to come back to this house, and then we come back to continue with business in a much more serene environment. In that regard, Mr. Speaker, I invite you to adjourn the house in the hope that we can come back on January 18.”
The prayer was seconded by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who also said the adjournment will allow for more consultations on all pertinent issues.
According to him, the country shouldn’t suffer as a result of some happenings in Parliament recently.
“It is important that we carry the country along, and we need to demonstrate to the country that our democracy is growing and will not suffer some unacceptable scenes and spectacles we’ve witnessed on the floor.”
“So I can only concur with what the leader has said, so you adjourn the House sine die for some consultation on the outstanding issue.”
Why did the MPs fight?
The decision of the First Deputy Speaker to take leave of the Speaker’s chair for the Second Deputy Speaker to take charge to enable him to participate in voting occasioned disagreement from the Minority, and a subsequent tussle over the Speaker’s sitting area ensued.
The brawl saw dozens of the opposition parliamentarians exchange fisticuffs with their colleagues on the majority side while some officials of parliament tried to protect the Speaker’s seat and the mace of parliament from being attacked.
However, calm returned moments after, before the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Asiamah, adjourned the sitting.