Video: Members of Parliament trade blows again in the chamber over passage of E-levy bill

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It was an eyesore in Ghana’s Parliament as some Members of Parliament traded blows in the chamber on Monday night over the passage of the NPP government’s proposed contentious E-levy.

The bone of contention over the bill which resulted in fisticuffs again in the House of Honourables emanated when the majority proposed that the bill should be passed under Certificate of Urgency.

In the absence of the Rt. Hon Speaker, Alban Bagbin, the proceedings was initially presided by First Deputy Speaker and MP for Bekwai, Joseph Osei-Owusu.

The minority, who have already declared their entrenched position against the bill got infuriated by the First Deputy Speaker’s attempt to vacate the speakership for the second deputy speaker in order to enable him to vote on a question he has posed to the floor for determination.

According to the minority, per the standing orders of the house, the Speaker of Parliament does not have a casting vote and therefore cannot fathom why the deputy speaker would want to circumvent the rules to allow him to vote.

The fight that broke out saw the majority legislators and their counterpart minority leaders exchange blows over the deputy speaker’s decision while some officials of parliament try to protect the Speaker’s seat and the mace of parliament from being attacked.

This brawl comes after the minority earlier had told the press their resolve to vehemently oppose the passage of the bill through all available means.

According to the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, the minority will not open itself up for dialogue anymore but will out-rightly reject the bill.

Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson told journalists that the Minority side insisted that the government meets with the various stakeholders who have complained about the levy including the Telecommunication Chamber, to listen to their concerns, but the majority side hesitated.

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