GHANA: Alban Bagbin elected speaker of parliament

Former MP for Nadowli Kaleo, Alban Sumani Bagbin of the NDC has been elected Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

He won a chaotic, closely contested secret ballot in the Chamber of Parliament on Thursday against former Speaker, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye.

One of the oldest serving MPs polled 138 votes against his predecessors 136 with one legislator failing to vote.

The long dragging process lasted over nine hours which delayed the swearing-in of MPs-elect.

Total chaos

There was total pandemonium in Ghana’s parliament Thursday dawn ushering in the eighth Parliament after the 7 December elections.

MPs-elect went berserk and held proceedings for well over four hours prior to the election of a new Speaker of Parliament.

Tempers flared as the Clerk of Parliament, who was presiding over the voting exercise, initially ruled that the MP-elect for Assin North, James Gyekye Quayson, cannot participate in the voting because of a court injunction.

The decision did not go down well with National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs-elect, ensuing in pockets of altercations and fisticuffs in the Chamber as marshals of parliament had it tough restoring law and order in the House.

At a point when order was restored and voting began, MP-elect for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak, led a charge to snatch the ballot box while others kicked the voting booth leading to total melee in the Chamber in the full glare of the public.

Armed military men had to intervene in the Chamber to calm tempers, but that provoked the largest opposition MPs who chanted patriotic songs and hooted at them to leave the House.

“We’ll resist oppressors’ rule… away!” the NDC MPs chanted.

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