Ghana NewsSpotlight

Provide ‘tough’ security in parliament to stop ‘rascals’ from creating confusion – Nyarko Osei to Dery

Akim Swedru MP Kennedy Nyarko Osei has suggested that Minister for the Interior Ambrose Dery, “as a matter of urgency, take all the necessary steps” to “provide substantial and tough security arrangements in parliament going forward to deal ruthlessly with any unruly MPs within the chamber”.

The former deputy minister of agriculture wrote on Facebook: “We must protect the sanctity of our parliament and democracy” and not allow “some rascals” to create confusion in the chamber.

In his view, “we must not sit down for either the Speaker or a member to be maimed before we take any decisive actions”.

His suggestion follows Monday night’s fisticuffs in parliament over the controversial 1.75 per cent e-levy.

The rumpus started when First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei-Owusu, who was presiding over the business of the house in the absence of Speaker Alban Bagbin, attempted to also cast his ballot on whether or not the bill should be considered under a certificate of urgency.

MPs from either side of the house were seen exchanging blows over the matter, which threw the whole house into chaos.

Earlier in the day, the Finance Committee of Parliament approved the controversial e-levy bill.

The Minority side, made up of 12 members, voted against it while the 12 members on the Majority side voted for it.

The Chairman of the Committee voted in favour of the bill to break the tie.

This meant it had to be put before the plenary for a certificate of urgency vote as the house has been scheduled to rise soon for the Christmas break.

The NDC and its Minority are against the 1.75 per cent levy which will affect electronic transactions.

Several calls on the government to drop the proposed tax has fallen on deaf ears.

The government has explained that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.

As a result, Ghana recorded a total of GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016.

The government says the e-Levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others.

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