Parliament of Ghana awaits declaration of results on election of Speaker

Ghana Parliament
Ghana Parliament

Members of Parliament are waiting for the declaration of results on the election of the Speaker of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic birthed earlier on the eve of Thursday, January 7, 2021.

As they wait, Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Side in Parliament are in wild jubilation, singing patriotic, party and gospel songs, moments after the counting of ballots for the election came to an abrupt end in the chamber of Parliament in Accra.

The Chief Justice, Mr Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah is soon to arrive to swear in the new Speaker, soon to be declared.

As counting went on, Alhaji Muhamed Mubarak Muntaka MP for Asawase, one of the MPs from the NDC Side policing the counting, indicted a win by two votes for his side 138, for Mr Alban Bagbin, immediate past Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament; and 136 votes for Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye, the immediate past Speaker of Parliament.

The counting came to an abrupt end when Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, MP elect for Tema West, snatched a ballot paper, from those counting and bolted through one of the exit doors of the parliamentary chamber.

The proposed Majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who backed Mr. Afenyo in the query said it was part of their preliminary observation to ascertain the eligibility criteria of the MP-elect in question.

“The issue raised by my colleague, the Effutu MP is very genuine. He wants to know the eligibility and qualification of the MPs-elect who are qualified for voting. This house has been duly served, injuncting one person from participating in the business, We are aware that the processes have been served to the house. We want to know as part of our preliminary observation whether it is true, and if it’s true, that person cannot participate properly before this house”, he clarified.

However, NDC MPs, notably Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, MP for Bolgatanga East Constituency argued that the evidence of service of writ, which Mr Oteng later supplied to the House was defective; with Mr Haruna Iddrisu and Muntaka Mohammed, proposed Minority Leader and Minority Chief respectively arguing that Assin North MP-elect must be allowed vote on the election of the Speaker.

“Mr. Chairman, courts don’t determine an elected person in Ghana. The court has the mandate to adjudicate on matters brought before it but the election of Member of Parliament is vested in Ghanaians citizens. We are aware that James Gyakye Quayson of Assin North was duly elected. As far as we know no court processes have been served on him personally. That is why he is here having registered and having the recognized as Member of the 275 MPs”, Haruna Iddrisu said.

Mr Oteng later ruled that the supposed MP elect could choose to vote or not to vote, but the consequences were entirely his.

When voting began, there were heckles, shouts, name calling, insinuation, near fight and demonstration largely from the NDC Side ,which was protesting Members from the NPP Side who exhibited their votes rather flaunting the votes.

This generated into a melee which at one time attracted gun-wielding military and police personnel into the chamber.

It took quite some time for the situation to be brought under control.

Earlier before proceedings began, MPs elect on NDC Side removed cards of names of MPs Elect from the NPP Side from the desks on the Majority Side of Parliament, to insist on their position that they had won a majority in the last December 7 parliamentary election.

Both SiBoth Sides of the House taunted each other with songs and heckles.

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