GHANA: Mahama demands investigation into ballot snatching and military invasion in Parliament

Flagberaer of the National Democratic Congress John Mahama has Congratulated Alban Sumani Kingsford Bagbin on his election as the Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic.

He believes the election of the former NDC Member of Parliament for Nadowli Kaleo is a clear indication of how dialogue and consensus can enhance the country’s democracy.

He has however condemned the invasion of military into the Chamber and the subsequent snatching of ballot papers by the MP for Tema West Carlos Ahenkora during the process of electing a new speaker.

In a Facebook post the NDC Flagberaer called for investigations into the two incidents and appropriate sanctions applied to the culprits.

“The attempt to snatch ballot papers by the MP-elect for Tema West and the invasion of the Chamber by armed military personnel are images one had never expected to see in our 4th Republican Parliament. The recent use of the military in civil democratic processes has become a major worry and gives the impression that this administration is continually seeking to resurrect the exorcised ghosts of our military past. Parliament must conduct an investigation into the two incidents and exact appropriate sanctions.” he posted.

Mahama added” The events of last night stretching into the morning of 7th January have been both a great occasion for Ghana’s democracy and at the same time a day of infamy, which will go down as a low point in our democratic practice.”

The NDC Flagberaer also used the opportunity to the leadership of the NDC Caucus and the Caucus members for their dedication and commitment.

Chaos

Counting has been suspended after a tensed election for a Speaker of Parliament on Thursday when a New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP-elect Carlos Ahenkorah snatched the ballot papers in the process.

The Tema West MP-elect interrupted the process when the NDC side began jubilating, sensing their preferred candidate for speaker, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye, had probably lost.

It took lawmakers on the opposite side and security officials to chase the NPP MP-elect to retrieve the yet-to-be counted papers.

Military Intervention

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.

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.

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.

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