The majority group in parliament is anticipating that the debate on the controversial e-levy bill currently before parliament will end up in votes and is therefore demanding the return of Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin to chair the proceedings.
According to the caucus, the absence of Bagbin has forced the second deputy speaker, Andrews Amoako Asiamah to preside over the sitting and that means a possible loss of one vote for them.
Alexander Afenyo Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader while addressing the press said the absence of Alban Bagbin throughout the first part of the sitting appears to be part of a grand plan by the minority to frustrate the approval of the bill.
He insisted that the majority caucus will not proceed to take decisions without Speaker Bagbin.
“We will not proceed to take decisions without Mr. Speaker. We need him in the House because by the technicalities of our own procedures, one of our people would have to sit in and therefore he will not have the opportunity to have his right of voting as a member. Mr. Speaker must show leadership in parliament,” he said.
Mr. Markin said the majority side was not given any information about the whereabouts of Alban Bagbin and so they want him to immediately return to the House.
“We have no information as to the whereabouts of Mr. Speaker. We see this as a grand political partisan design by the minority group to frustrate us, and we don’t’ want to suggest that Mr. Speaker is unavoidably absent to frustrate government business. We expect Mr. Speaker to be present. We have our numbers, and we are ready to do government business. We can’t be cajoled into pettiness because we see this as a strategy by the minority to create a standoff,” he added.
With Andrews Amoako Asiamah currently presiding, voting on the E-levy bill may see a tie of 137 votes for it by the majority side, and 137 votes against it by the minority side.
Source: Modern Ghana