The Majority in Parliament has disputed claims that it smuggled the controversial Electronic Transaction (e-levy) Bill into Parliament for passage on Tuesday.

The Minority in Parliament had accused the Majority Caucus of smuggling into the Order Paper, the consideration of the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy).

However, speaking on Joy News’ Newsfile, on Saturday, April 2, 2022, Deputy Majority Leader and MP for Efutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin said members were given prior notice about laying of the Bill before the House, thus, any claim suggesting otherwise, is not accurate.

“We never smuggled anything in. We never surprised them,” he said.

The Tamale South MP and Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, had said that the e-levy was not listed in Parliament’s business statement for the week (it was passed).

Mr. Iddrisu therefore questioned why the Majority will pull such a surprise on the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin stressed that, the Bill was part of proposals in the business statement (which is a schedule outlining activities for the following week) presented to the House during their last sitting on Friday.

“Every Friday, we read the business statement. The business statement has proposals for the ensuing week. You don’t specifically advertise that you are going to take a particular bill but there’s a provision where you propose bills, papers will be laid. Those that are already in our custody will be considered.

“So there are a lot of motions that are tabled [but] we never get to take them, but as and when they have to be programmed that notice is served, so we serve them notice through the Order Paper, which is the document we use in serving notice.

“If as it were, it was not listed on the Order Paper, then we can say we smuggled something in,” he stressed.

Parliament on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, approved the controversial Electronic Transactions (E-Levy) Bill.

This decision was reached after the Consideration Stage was completed by a Majority-sided House.

It was considered under a certificate of urgency. Subsequently, President Akufo-Addo assented to the Bill, to become.

The Minority has declared this action by its opponents as null and void with claims that there was no quorum formed at the time the decision was taken. They have proceeded to challenge the decision at the Supreme Court.

Interacting with host, Samson Lardy Anyenini, Mr. Afenyo-Markin, said the Minority’s grievances over the passage of the e-levy Bill are flawed, particularly when they mention the issue of quorum.

He noted that instead of the Minority staging a walkout on March 29, they could have stayed and raised the issue of lack of quorum if they believed the Majority did not have the numbers to pass the Bill.

According to the Effutu MP, due to the election of the Assin North MP being annulled, the Minority did not raise the matter as the House was working with 274 MPs.

“When you listen to Honourable Haruna Iddrisu, they never raised the issue of quorum. They only said they were not participating so they left. But if you exit the chamber, it doesn’t mean that your exit will stop public business. It is never the case.

They could have stayed to raise the issue of quorum. They didn’t. I don’t understand why they think that by merely walking out, they would ambush us and we would lack quorum.”

“The issue of counting arises only when it is raised. The Criminal Offenses Act we just amended, when we were doing that, we were just 20 or so. Just a few of us. Are they saying that there was no issue of quorum?” he added.