Ghana MPs brawl in parliament over mobile money tax

BBC

Ghanaian MPs fighting
Image caption,Ghanaian lawmakers are heavily divided over the proposed levy

A brawl has broken out in Ghana’s parliament during a late-night session over a contentious government-proposed levy on electronic transactions.

MPs shoved, pushed and threw punches at each other, while others tried to stop the fighting.

The chaos started after opposition MPs rushed forward to prevent Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu from leaving his seat to vote, local media reports.

He was chairing the session, which was then adjourned because of the disorder.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has rejected the proposed levy of 1.75% on electronic transactions, which includes mobile-money payments.

It says it will hit low-income people and those outside the formal banking sector.

But Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Artta has said it is necessary to widen the tax net, arguing that it could raise an extra 6.9bn Ghanaian cedi ($1.15bn; £870m) next year.

The parliamentary session began on Monday morning and broke up after midnight, the local Graphic newspaper reports.

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