Minority Chief Whip in parliament, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, has disclosed that the majority in parliament would have lost out on votes on some procedural processes if Speaker, Alban Bagbin, was present.
According to him, the reason the majority would have lost was due to the fact that they didn’t have their entire numbers present and should have the minority called for a vote on “division”, the majority would have lost out on it. Mr Muntaka insisted that at the time that he was “calling for the division” the majority didn’t have all their numbers.
“I was even sad because if Speaker was sitting in the chair, it would have been straightforward because we would have called for division, they would have lost it. Because you see, the procedural motion was to enable them take the e-levy through all the processes. We are of the view that this is a very important task that they are trying to introduce with so much interest… If there is one bill that in my view needs better consultation, it is this one. And that’s the reason why we objected that look, why do you want to take it through all the processes?… and that’s why Honourable Mahama Ayariga started article 106 (13) and all the standing orders argument…”Mr Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka
His comments follow Member of Parliament for the Effutu Constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin’s statement during a press briefing that the Majority had no idea about the whereabouts of the Speaker of Parliament.
Mr. Afenyo-Markin explained that the unavailability of the Speaker may cripple the business of government if he does not show up.
Commenting on this, Mr Muntaka dismissed the suggestions that the Speaker has taken a deliberate leave to frustrate discussions on the report from the Finance Committee regarding the e-levy Bill.
The minority chief whip questioned why the majority were worried about the absence of the Speaker if they claim to have the majority in parliament. He expressed that they just keep playing and not paying attention to details and not strategizing very well.
“They were in Kumasi saying that they were majority. If you have the majority, why are you worried about the absence of the Speaker? I am sad because if Speaker was seated, they would have just lost and the least they could do now is to go and gazette for 21 days and they would have to open it for consultation… and it may take the next two, three months before they can reintroduce it. So, I’m really sad that Speaker was not in the chair because… as at the time I was calling for the division, they didn’t have all their [people]…”Mr Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka
Minority reinforces opposition to e-levy
Meanwhile, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has described the controversial e-levy bill as ‘technically incompetent’, insisting that his side will fiercely resist it. Speaking during a press briefing, he noted that his side will not endorse the bill as it is fraught with many challenges.
Mr Iddrisu indicated that it was wrong for the bill to suggest that for every transfer of above GHS 100, the sender will be charged and in cases where the same amount is transferred to different people that sender will be charged multiple times.
“Their grand deception will fail. I have the technical competence in the telecom and communications sector. What the telcos are charging is on fees and not transactions. The government is deceiving them to lower their fee charges by 0.25% and that makes up for what the 1.75% they want to introduce. No telco charges on transactions. They only charge transaction fees of 1% of transfers. I think that technically, this bill is incompetent and they must consult well”.Mr Hatuna Iddrisu