Drama in Ghana’s Parliament as a fight broke out between lawmakers over the Ghanaian government’s attempt to push an unpopular mobile money tax through voting.
The ruling NPP and opposition NDC lawmakers fought after presiding Speaker Joe Osei-Owusu tried to leave the seat to cast his vote in favour of the e-levy.
The opposition lawmakers tried to stop the presiding speaker from voting because, as they said, per standing orders of parliament, the speaker is supposed to be neutral, so he cannot cast a vote.
While the House began taking votes on whether they would have taken the E-levy bill under a certificate of urgency, the minority lawmakers bore after the presiding Speaker, Joe Osei-Owusu, to leave the seat in an attempt to cast his vote.
In videos that have gone viral on social media, the lawmakers climb the podium to stop the presiding speaker from going through with a vote.
But most Ghanaians rejected this new levy as they claimed that it would create more hardships for citizens who are already suffering in the country.
The electronic transactions levy is a new tax which the government wants to introduce on mobile money transactions in Ghana.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced details of the new tax during the budget statement next year.
The government introduced a 1.75% tax on all mobile money transactions that exceed 100 Ghanaian cedis.
But most Ghanaians rejected the new levy.
The Minority in Parliament supported the calls of ordinary Ghanaians to reject the proposed levy. Because of that, they rejected the 2022 budget.
The majority of lawmakers managed to pass the budget later on when the presiding speaker, Joe Osei-Owusu, chaired sittings in the absence of the speaker, who was travelling for medical care.
Despite all this, lawmakers raised objections to the e-levy, which, per the rules of the house, they would have voted on.
They attempted to take the e-levy under a certificate of emergency so that they would vote on it and pass it into law, and then the fight broke out.