E-levy: When you keep on giving surprises to the Speaker, the Speaker will also give you surprises – Bagbin Warns


The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin has admonished the leadership of the House to desist from pulling surprises on him.

His caution comes after the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta made an unexpected appearance in Parliament and moved a motion for the House to deliberate on the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) Bill.

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According to the Speaker, he had no idea the Bill had been tabled for discussion on Tuesday, thus, was shocked when it was moved.

“When you keep on giving surprises to the Speaker, the Speaker will also give you surprises,” he warned.

Mr. Bagbin added that the Minority in Parliament’s walkout was also shocking.

“The movement of the motion was a surprise and the walkout is another surprise,” he said.

This situation, he said, “Is sometimes overwhelming.”

While acknowledging that today is President Akufo-Addo’s 78th birthday, Speaker Bagbin said it is not an excuse for Members of Parliament to be pulling stunts on him.

“So today is the birthday of the President it is not a surprise day. He wants to celebrate it before he comes to the House tomorrow, we hope his message is one to be celebrated,” he noted.

After the Majority Caucus moved for the E-levy Bill to be deliberated on in the House, the Minority in Parliament expressed utter disgust.

According to Minority Leader, the Majority Caucus ambushed them by smuggling the consideration of the Bill into the Order Paper.

“We have time and again warned and cautioned that we never want to be taken by surprise on a major economic policy of the government and we will not accept that culture,” Haruna Iddrisu fumed.

Subsequently, the NDC MPs staged a walkout.

Parliament’s proceedings was however continued.

With just the Majority, the legislature approved the E-levy Bill and it is now awaiting Presidential assent to implement the new law.

It was considered under a certificate of urgency.

But Speaker Bagbin has given the assurance that despite the tensions between the two sides of Parliament, he will contribute his best to manage the House.

“The people of Ghana are looking up to us, they are not looking down because we are not down, we are up. And that leadership we must not fail to provide,” he stated.

Source: myjoyonline

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