Ghana’s Eventful Night In The Chamber Of The Parliament House

MPs Elect fight over Speaker election

When Ghanaians went to the polls to vote on December 7, they chose a parliament where none of the parties had any clear mandate.

The NPP had 137 MPs and NDC had 137 MPs with one NPP leaning independent MP.

At the stroke of midnight on January 7, the MPs-elect gathered to elect a speaker of parliament and get sworn in.

This would then pave the way for President elect Nana Akufo-Addo to be sworn in as well.

However, the night started getting interesting when the NDC MPs-elect came to parliament earlier than the NPP MPs-elect to occupy the space to the right of the Speaker, which is reserved for the party with the majority in parliament.

When the NPP MPs-elect came there was a standoff which at one point saw Ursula Owusu Ekuful sit on another NDC MP-elect claiming that he was in her seat.

Ursula Owusu sits on another MP

No matter how unheard of that was, it was close to the near blow to blow the MPs-elect came to later in the night.

When voting started for the Speaker position, the MP-elect from Assin North was prevented by the clerk of parliament to cast his vote.

That brought the process to a standstill with MPs-elect kicking ballot box and the voting screens.

It took the intervention of soldiers and police officers to restore calm in the chamber of parliament.

Finally, the MPs-elect resumed voting which traveled to 6am in the morning of January 7 – this is unprecedented.

However, that was also disrupted when it was suggested that Prof Mike Oquaye had not obtained enough votes to be speaker.

The actual mayhem occurred when Carlos Ahenkrah, the MP-elect for Tema West Constituency allegedly snatched uncounted ballot papers belonging to the NDC’s nominee for speaker, Alban Bagbin.

As at the time of filing this report, the latest impasse has not been resolved and nobody has been sworn in as the Speaker of Parliament.


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