Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, along with the leadership of the Majority in Parliament achieved the mission of passing the Electronic Transfer (E-Levy) Bill into law on Tuesday, March 29.
The events leading to the approval was, however, characterized by the walking out of the Minority led by their leader Haruna Iddrisu.
The walkout was staged after the Minority had taken their turn to debate and by so doing reiterate their critique of the Bill and stated their outright rejection of same.
When Haruna Iddrisu announced that his side was leaving the chamber because they did not want to be associated with the approval in any way, he thanked and bowed to Speaker Alban Bagbin before walking out while his members followed.
In the second that followed, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is heard trying to get the attention of the Speaker. “Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker….” he is heard saying.
Bagbin is heard replying: “Because of the noise….” pointing to the noise created by the walking out of the Minority lawmakers.
The Majority Leader then proceeds: “Mr. Speaker, put the question. Mr. Speaker, my colleagues are in the chamber, I invite you to put the question, put the question now. They are in the chamber, put the question now.
“Mr. Speaker, I’m inviting you, put the question now, they are in the chamber.”
Bagbin replies: “Hon. Majority Leader, am I to understand that you are foregoing your submission and you want me to put the question?” to which the leader replied in the affirmative.
“Alright. Hon. Members, the Majority Leader has adopted what has already been submitted and so I proceed to put the question…”
At the time of putting the question, a handful of Minority MPs were still filing out of the Chamber.
As expected, the “Ayes” won the voice vote, a key amendment was made to the Bill with the government lowering the 1.75% rate to 1.50% before other processes were followed through till the passage of the Bill.
The Minority has meanwhile hinted that they will mount a legal challenge to the process because as far as they were concerned, the Majority did not have the requisite numbers to pass the Bill.