Last week saw the NHS Covid passes voted in on what was called a knife-edge.

While the numbers tell the story of 28 MSs voting for the legislation to 27 MSs against, we need to talk about the claims of a technical glitch.

Two conflicting reports have emerged about what happened when Conservative MS Gareth Davies failed to cast his vote.

The first was in the words of Mr Davies himself claiming he faced IT problems. He stated he was "deeply upset" and was "speaking with the chief whip and the Welsh Conservative staff members in an attempt to solve the IT issues".

We could have all predicted how he would have voted and how we could have come to a deadlock. If his claims are correct, we should be provided answers to the wide number of remaining questions: What were the "IT issues"? When were they reported and to who? What was the response of the ICT department? Presiding officer Elin Jones said she offered her own phone number, did he take her up on that offer? If not, why? Why didn’t he make a statement sooner?

READ MORE: Covid passports narrowly approved in Senedd vote

Other reports have emerged, stating that attempts were made to contact Gareth Davies but to no avail.

It is important to remember that technology will not do our job for us - it is merely an aid.

Whatever the real story, Gareth Davies made a mockery of Welsh democracy. He was at Conservative party conference, unreachable and with not much to say about it. His actions have shown contempt for our Senedd.

We need to ensure we have proper rules related to faulty technology written into voting mechanics and standing orders for our Senedd to reflect our modern democracy.

READ MORE: Tory MS couldn't vote against Covid pass via Zoom

This was our chance to block legislation that is known to be harmful to many - from business owners to those of us with disabilities and health issues.

Covid passes will do little to keep us safe and to those who feel that Welsh Labour will keep to their promise of temporary legislation, it is known that Labour doesn't give back powers when it takes them. Case in point is Tony Blair's 'temporary' counterterrorism legislation and snoopers’ charter that is still with us today.

This really matters.

The bottom line is that Mr Davies owes constituents and the country a full explanation. At a time when being a part of the opposition against the Welsh Government really mattered, he and the Welsh Conservative team let our country down.

READ MORE: Covid passes: All you need to know

How can people trust the democratic process? While Welsh Labour saw it fit to pass legislation that is a blatant infringement on freedom and liberty, the Welsh Conservatives could not get all of their MSs to attend a simple vote and Plaid Cymru acted at the 11th hour and half-heartedly.

Wales deserves a fully-functioning opposition that cares enough to turn up to votes and stand up to the Government for the good of our nation.

Leena Farhat is Masters student in Language Technologies and a board member of the Institute for Welsh Affairs.

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