The Minority Caucus has said there was no quorum, per the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, for a one-sided parliament made up of 136 MPs, to have passed the controversial e-levy on Tuesday, 29 March 2022.
It has, thus, decided to challenge the passage of the bill at the Supreme Court.
The bill was passed after the Minority side staged a walkout during the consideration of the bill.
Addressing journalists after the house adjourned sitting, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said: “They [Majority Caucus] were simply less than 137”.
“I’m using 137 because conspicuously, everybody in the world and Ghana knows the Honourable Adwoa Safo was not present and, therefore, you had 137”, he computed.
Additionally, he noted, “We know that there was an ambulance within the precincts of parliament but the person who is purported to have been in the ambulance was not present in the chamber for the purpose of exercising a vote. Therefore, every decision that they took with 136 flies against the ruling of the Supreme Court”.
“And for emphasis, I’m going to read page 12 of the Supreme Court ruling: There is a second quorum provision spelt out in article 104(1). This provision applies specifically and exclusively to voting to determine a matter in parliament. Article 104(1) provides as follows: ‘Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, matters in parliament shall be determined by the votes of the majority of members present and voting with, at least, half of all the members of parliament present’”.
Mr Iddrisu noted: “During the second reading, you did not have half of the MPs present. During the consideration stage, you did not have half of MPs present per the Supreme Court ruling. And, during the third reading, you did not have more than half of the MPs present and voting”.
“Therefore, those of you who are celebrating with them that e-levy has been passed and accordingly passed, your excitement will be short-lived”, he warned.
He said: “Immediately after this press briefing, we intend to file to question the legitimacy of the decision of less than one-half of MPs taking a decision to approve e-levy at second reading, following our walkout and at third reading, which is required”.