Former President John Dramani Mahama says the Minority Caucus fought for the democracy of the country through their actions in Parliament before the House went on recess last year.

In December 2021, a free-for-all fight broke out in Parliament during the debate and voting on government’s Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).

This follows an action by the First Deputy Speaker which the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs described as unconstitutional and contrary to the Standing Orders of the House.

The Minority resisted Joseph Osei-Owusu’s attempt to vote whilst presiding over the Parliamentary proceedings.

Minority's rejection of E-levy is a fight for Ghana's democracy - Mahama tells church leaders

In view of this, Mr Mahama at a meeting with a delegation from the leadership of the various church groups and associations in his office said the resistance of the Minority group, which led to the brawl was a fight for democracy.

He told the Christian leaders that Ghanaians have made it clear that they do not want the E-Levy, hence the Minority group’s push back is a reflection of what the people want.

The delegation, led by Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church; the Most Reverend Paul K. Boafo, included representatives from the Christian Council of Ghana, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, and the Catholic Bishops Conference.

Most Rev. Paul Boafo told the former President who was in the company of the National Chairman of the NDC; Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, former Education Minister; Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, MP for Ajumako Enyan Esiam; Dr. Ato Forson and MP for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim that they were on a peace mission.

Minority's rejection of E-levy is a fight for Ghana's democracy - Mahama tells church leaders

“We have come as heads of churches of the various associations and groupings in Ghana. As major stakeholders, when things become of concern, we are all to take it up and see how best we can find answers and resolutions.”

“Getting to the last quarter of last year, we all experienced what our country has never experienced before. It came to the max when they [MPs] were about closing with the introduction of the budget and E-levy… and there were exchanges resulting in some fight and all that. The churches or the Christian bodies became alarmed, and we said we will not sit [for such things to continue]…”

Reacting to the remarks, Mr. Mahama said, “that fight was a fight for democracy. There is no way a Speaker can sit in the chair, relinquish the chair, let somebody else come and sit in it and take a vote in something that he has presided over. The constitution is clear”.

Minority's rejection of E-levy is a fight for Ghana's democracy - Mahama tells church leaders

The former President disagreed with suggestions that the Minority should have allowed the process to continue to prevent the fracas.

“It was felt that our MPs should sit timidly and let them pass this unconstitutionality. It won’t happen”, he stressed.

“There is a lot that is happening in this country that if we don’t intervene, it would upset our democracy. The Fourth Republic has been the most enduring, and we must protect it,” he added.