Joe Wise was not going to vote

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Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu presents 2021 Budget

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has explained circumstances under which Bekwai MP, Joe Osei-Owusu, asked the Second Deputy Speaker to preside over the House on Tuesday.

According to him, Mr Osei-Owusu was not feeling well but had to be compelled to preside over the House after Speaker Alban Bagbin took time off.

Hence, the former’s decision was to enable him to take his medication and also use the washroom shortly after assuming the seat.

The First Deputy Speaker’s decision to vacate the seat during proceedings did not go down well with the Minority side who felt that this was a ruse to get him to vote along with the Majority side on the controversial e-levy bill.

This resulted in the fisticuffs in Parliament last night.

But addressing a media briefing on Tuesday, the Majority Leader who doubles as the Suame MP said that was not the case.

“The First Deputy Speaker (Joseph Osei Owusu) wasn’t feeling well and was on medication, and we had to persuade him to come to preside over proceedings.

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“That is why he asked the Second Deputy Speaker to take the chair, so he could go and take his medication and use the loo,” Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained.

He, however, indicated the deputy speakers are not barred from voting per the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Meanwhile, the House has gone on break for the yuletide without passing the bill and is expected to resume on January 18, 2022.

Play the audio above:

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