The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia has alleged that a member of the majority side of Parliament is battling for his life after he was hit by stroke.
He said the said MP is on admission at an intensive care unit of a hospital in the country and may not be able to join his colleagues in parliament any moment from now.
Asiedu Nketiah, also known as General Mosquito, told Nana Aba Anamoah on Starr Chat Wednesday that the governing party will still not be able to marshal enough numbers to pass the controversial E-levy even if the Assin North lawmaker is removed from the Minority side.
The Assin North MP, James Quayson has been slapped with charges that he holds dual citizenship and is in parliament contrary to the laws of the country.
The NDC believes the NPP is doing that to reduce the numbers of the Minority who have kicked against the passage of the 1.75 E-levy which the government is bent on passing into law.
Currently, the majority side has 137 members against 137 on the Minority side plus an independent candidate, Andrew Asiamah who has decided to do business with the Majority side.
In essence, the government may need the presence of the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, to preside the debate of the E-levy before the government can have its way to pass the controversial levy.
For the government to have its way, all 137 MPs from the NPP side plus the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Asiamah, must be present in the law-making chamber to vote in favour of the E-levy to subsequently beat the NDC MPs by 1 vote.
Currently the government is struggling to get all the 137 MPs on its side because the MP for Dome-Kwabenya, Adwoa Safo, has issues with the NPP and has chosen to absent herself from proceedings in the chamber as the laying of the E-levy Bill beckons.
The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, even indicated that the Majority Caucus does not factor Sarah Adwoa Safo, into its deliberations in Parliament.
But one of the NPP MPs is currently at ICU, according to Asiedu Nketiah. This means that the government cannot get all the numbers it requires to pass the E-levy.
Asiedu Nketiah explained: “So the problem is with the attitude of the government and its functionaries. The earlier that they learnt that the situation has changed the better it will be for all of us. Because [of] this game of numbers, they think that they can win it through a very expensive exercise.”
“One, try to force some of our MPs out of Parliament and take their seats. They’ve tried this now with the Assin whatever MP. It doesn’t solve any problem. The matter is in court, and now you [the Majority] have one of their MPs struck down by stroke. So he is in intensive care [and] so now if the Assin North MP is kicked out, you are back to square one.
“The reason why they are descending heavily on Adowa Safo is again about this game of numbers. You are pushing to remove Adwoa Safo but unknown to you, that same law has caught 2 other NPP MPs. So are you willing to sacrifice all three of them and how sure are you that you are going to win all three by-elections? So again, it is foolhardiness about this game of numbers,” Asiedu Nketiah added.
He believes that the government must admit that times have changed and it has to involve the NDC MPs in a dialogue on policies rather than imposing policies on them.
“The way to go is to work with understanding with the NDC…You can’t have your way in this situation; There is no way the NPP can have their way,” he stated while arguing it will be very difficult for the government to get all Majority MPs on the floor of Parliament on the same day to approve the E-levy.